The defeat of the DREAM Act in the Senate during a rare Saturday crammed with important votes during a lame duck session was a good thing. If the Democrats and President Obama were truly serious about immigration reform and helping those caught in the crossfire, this vote would have never been called. This was pure politics, nothing else.
Three Republicans - Lugar, Murkowski, and Bennett - voted for cloture for the DREAM act while 5 Dems voted against. Harry Reid either deliberately mislead supporters that he had the votes necessary to move it forward or else he deliberately tried to impugn Republicans. Either way, it was not a show of decency or leadership by the Senate Majority Leader.
The DREAM Act never received a Congressional hearing. Never. It never was brought for discussion on the floor of the House or Senate for serious discussion - and it never had a mark up session in Congress to blend in any needed adjustments or amendments. This tells the tale.
The DREAM Act ( Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act )would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously and illegally for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning. The students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States," or have "served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge." Military enlistment contracts require an eight year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years.
If amnesty is to be granted to the children of illegal immigrants - the children being illegal in the country, too - then a process must be in place for implementation. This may appear to be an earned amnesty but it is still amnesty.
I watched a program following the naturalization process for legal immigrants recently. I cannot imagine that amnesty for illegal immigrants is anything other than a slap in the face to those who play by the rules and go the legal route. And, as long as the borders of our country remain unsecured, why would it make sense to put this action before the security issue? First, stop the constant stream of illegal immigrants coming across the border and then work of the rest of the problems. That is the Republican position. Secure the borders then deal with those already here. Democrats hope to put into play the same path they took with black Americans - buy votes with legislation. Perhaps it would be wise for Hispanics to look at how black Americans are now treated by ruling Democrats - they are taken for granted and old habits die hard.
Those coming here legally want to assimilate and be thought of as American. Many here illegally come across as feeling entitled to be here and deserve access to all that entails. America is a generous and welcoming country. We feel angry as we watch big rallies with other flags being waved as those waving them demand equal treatment. Assimilation is what nurtures the melting pot. We are a great nation due to assimilation. Immigrants must learn English, our national language which binds us in communication. They must learn our national history and commit to protecting our country, if necessary.
There should be no short cuts to citizenship. Life in America is the dream of people all around the world. It is not a right for those who break across the border and hide from law enforcement, if it is present at all.
This administration has not stepped up and made the decision to secure the borders. There are not enough border patrol agents and the violent drug infused criminal activity on the southern border is getting those there killed. Until measures are taken - more agents, more resources to get the job done - why should any other action be granted?