By Joe Guzzardi
January 9, 2012
Add this to your already bulging file of believe it or not incidents regarding the federal government’s illegal immigrant coddling.
On December 15, according to the Department of Education and the Department of Labor’s official websites, Secretary Arne Duncan and Secretary Hilda Solis hosted two radical illegal alien organizations, the United States Student Association and United We Dream. Their members came to Washington to lobby for the DREAM Act.
The meeting, held at the education department’s headquarters, centered on what is the so-called DREAMer’s common and reoccurring theme—the unfairness of it all.
Describing themselves as “nation builders,” the aliens bemoaned their lack of access to federal financial aid, Pell Grants and scholarships. Even for the lucky few that four-year institutions accept, most must pay the required out-of-state tuition, a cost they call “prohibitive.”
For more than a decade, illegal immigrants’ advocates have described them as living “in the shadows.” Yet, photographs on the website shows aliens seated face-to-face with two of the Obama’s administration’s most prominent leaders, Duncan and Solis.
Many students disingenuously expressed unfounded concerns about their possible deportation. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that college-age aliens are protected by its “prosecutorial discretion” policy.
There is so much wrong with this story that it’s hard to know where to begin especially within the confines of a 600-word column. But I’ll do my best.
During the last ten years the DREAM Act, in all its multiple reincarnations, has been soundly defeated. Whether the White House and/or Congress have been controlled by Democrats or Republicans, efforts to pass it have failed.
No legislation is as overwhelmingly opposed by the American majority as the DREAM Act. Among the Republican presidential candidates, Texas governor Rick Perry went from first to the bottom of the list overnight after he expressed his support of the DREAM Act during a September 2011 debate. Perry hasn’t recovered since. Within the Democratic Party, DREAM Act advocacy is mostly limited to the extreme left wing and the Hispanic ethnic identity lobby.
Americans who voice their displeasure with the DREAM Act stand on solid ground. According to a new report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, college tuition and fees have increased 439 percent since 1982, almost three times higher than the increase in family incomes. The biennial report found that even after financial aid, a four-year public college cost 28 percent of the median family’s income last year; a four-year private school cost a staggering 76 percent. Yet aliens insist on preferential tuition treatment.
To make illegal immigrants’ access to the limited number of freshman seats available each year would be unconscionable.
With the American economy in dire straits and with jobs shrinking, a more prudent course of action for DREAMers would be to return home which, in most cases, is Mexico. According to an analysis by the New York Times, the Mexican economy is better than it has been in decades. The non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center’s chief demographer, Jeffrey Passel, thinks that a college degree earned at the acclaimed University of Mexico is more valuable in Mexico than a similar degree from an American college would be in the United States.
Mexico isn’t Siberia. Every year, Mexico is included in the world’s top vacation destinations. Democracy has stabilized, incomes have risen and poverty declined.
Since when did going home because an unthinkable fate?
Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]