By Joe Guzzardi
August 17, 2012
Since Senators Richard Durbin (D-Il.) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001, alien advocates have repeatedly insisted that the young students who would benefit are budding lawyers, doctors and engineers. Soon, we’ve been told, they’ll earn six-figure salaries, make major societal contributions and boost the tax base.
Now that the DREAM has been unconstitutionally realized through President Obama’s June executive order, the nation has a true and grim picture of how easy it is for young aliens age 16-30 to qualify for work permits and quasi-permanent residency.
The standards for Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that the Department of Homeland Security announced are so watered down from what Durbin, Hatch and Obama originally promised that they’re unrecognizable. Key among them is that even middle school drop outs will receive deferred action assuming they’re “enrolled” in school or a General Equivalency Degree class.
Having taught a GED class at a large California K-12 public high school, I’ll tell you what most news stories won’t. “Enrolled” doesn’t mean “attends” or “completes” the test.
Anyone can enroll at a local community or adult education center at little or no cost. The student may or may not have to provide identification. No one will scrutinize whatever ID he might provide. Attendance standards, assuming there are any, are lax. To stay on the roll, a student has merely to show up once every three months, give or take. In the unlikely event that DHS asks him to produce evidence of his academic background, the alien student will have a copy of his registration.
Churches, Hispanic and other outreach organizations will set up shop to provide GED preparation classes. They may meet only once a week. Although they aren’t accredited, DHS will recognize them. During the past decade, the illegal immigrant lobby frequently promised that aliens would pass the GED. But few realize how hard the test is and how unlikely it is that someone with a limited education could pass even if he had attended a few years of primary or secondary school.
The GED consists of five parts including reading comprehension, math, grammar skills and essay writing on an assigned topic. Passing all five, especially the math, grammar and essay, is an insurmountable challenge for most.
Rest assured that most childhood arrivals will figure out a way around the system, such as it is, and receive their work permits. But then what? The debate about driver’s licenses and in-state university tuition are beginning to boil over. How will childhood arrivals get to their new jobs without a car? In many states, having a work permit and a federal deferred action certificate is enough to receive a driver’s license.
As for giving discounted tuition to illegal aliens (despite their DACA status, they are still illegally in the United States), colleges have reduced class offerings and increased tuitions annually. The last thing they can afford to do is lower tuition fees for new enrollees.
The Obama administration originally estimated that 800,000 childhood arrivals would get work authorization. Then, the total rose to 1.2 million and then again to 1.8 million. Three million, or even higher, is not out of the question since Obama’s ground rules change daily. For example, aliens with a criminal history, but not felony convictions, will be approved and like all the others DACA’s get a social security card.
In the meantime, 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans and millions more college bound native-born kids who also have dreams are sitting on the sidelines. President Obama, who took an oath to protect Americans, has instead abandoned them in exchange for votes.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]