DREAMing Again; Senator Marco Rubio Encourages GOP Political Suicide
Published on July 3rd, 2012
By Joe Guzzardi
May 4, 2012
Despite multiple defeats and even though it is reviled legislation, the DREAM Act won’t go away. The faulty logic persists: to win, the GOP must pander to Hispanics. And nothing appeals more to Hispanics, so the misguided theory goes, than the DREAM Act.
The reality is different. Hispanic voters are a smaller bloc than blacks or whites and are therefore not as “crucial” to either presidential candidate as moderates or independents. DREAM Act advocacy has been fatal to dozens of Republican careers; more about that later.
Nevertheless, a watered down DREAM Act is slowly making its way through Congress. Florida Senator Marco Rubio spearheads the effort under the guise of overcoming Republicans’ presumed Hispanic challenge.
Adding to Rubio’s DREAM Act absurdity is that no one on either side of the Capitol Hill aisle thinks his proposal has a snowball’s chance. But with the DREAM Act, the already dead horse must continuously be kicked.
Although Rubio’s final bill hasn’t dropped yet, his office has distributed to Republican Senators’ chiefs-of-staff a PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Republican Challenge among Hispanic Voters” that highlights the U.S.’s growing Hispanic population and falsely claims that 63 percent of Republicans think that aliens without criminal records should be legalized.
These arguments represent typical DREAM Act mumbo-jumbo duplicity. Yes, the Hispanic population is the fastest growing—but its increases are fueled by illegal aliens who, the last time I checked, can’t vote. And legal Hispanics have the lowest ratio of registered voters in any demographic.
Rubio’s carrot is that his DREAMers wouldn’t get citizenship directly. Instead, upon graduation they would receive non-immigrant work visas which would give them legal status and put them into the job market to compete head-to-head with unemployed Americans. The visas would be valid for a fixed number of years during which the DREAMers would have an opportunity to change their immigration status to permanent resident. Although Rubio doesn’t spell it out, when an alien gets a green card, he’s been amnestied.
As for the work visas, let’s do some quick math. Over 29 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. In April, the economy added an insignificant 115,000 jobs. Handing out tens of thousands of new work permits to formerly unemployable college graduates (because they were illegal aliens) in addition to the already 1 million visas issued annually to legal immigrants sounds like a bad idea to me.
Since taxpayers have financed DREAMers K-12 educations and would then, if Rubio has his way, also have heavily subsidized their college degrees, taking American jobs is—or should be—the last straw. Consider also that DREAMing aliens would occupy an increasingly scarce seat in the university of your child’s choice. Nationwide, the foreign-born college enrollment increased by 6 percent last year. In some schools, freshman classes have a 15 percent overseas student representation.
Although Congress remains mum pending a final bill analysis, early indications bode poorly for DREAMers. NumbersUSA, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, influential organizations that lobby for less immigration, predict that Rubio’s DREAM will be D.O.A.
House Speaker John Boehner, normally favorable toward pro- immigrant legislation, thinks that “it would be difficult at best” for Rubio’s proposal to advance.
What motivates Rubio is unclear. If Rubio has presidential aspirations, he should remember what happened to Texas governor Rick Perry’s candidacy when he called DREAM Act opponents “heartless.” And, for a brief moment last fall, Newt Gingrich led the GOP prospects. Then, Gingrich promoted “red” cards, another disguised amnesty that fooled no one but effectively ended his campaign.
As for killing off the DREAM Act once and for all, let’s try what works with vampires: drive a stake through its heart or wave garlic over it.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been nationally syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected].