This past week, we live-blogged about Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s admission during a Senate hearing that she still supports the Dream Act, a bill that would grant amnesty to individuals unlawfully in the United States who arrived before the age of 16. Amnesty advocates like America’s Voice are now touting the Secretary’s answer as a sign that the Obama administration will move for a full amnesty this year.
Despite its humanitarian pitch, the DREAM Act is bad public policy. Heritage fellow James Carafano wrote in 2007:
The bill would allow applicants to immediately receive conditional legal status, including eligibility for federal benefits like student loans.
The DREAM Act is not a new legislative proposal developed in the wake of the amnesty bill’s collapse earlier this year; the DREAM Act was first proposed five years ago. Its implications for undermining the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws were so obvious that the measure was never voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This bill, regardless of the humanitarian goals claimed by its supporters, would further undermine efforts to enforce immigration laws and border security. It would make the task of securing the U.S.-Mexican border more difficult, and it would lead to higher costs for the state and local governments that bear much of the fiscal burden of unlawful presence.