When the House and Senate (presumably) vote this afternoon, I think it is important to frame the issue in terms of giving out millions of additional 10-year work permits.
You see, even people who don't qualify in the first place or who do qualify for the provisional amnesty but never meet the educational criteria later -- all of them can get a 10-year work permit from the start.
Here's the way it would work under the latest DREAM amnesty bill introduced in the Senate (and coming up for a vote today):
THE 10-YEAR WORK PERMITS FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT QUALIFY
1. Application: The DREAM amnesty begins with illegal aliens filling out applications. They merely have to claim -- not provide evidence -- that they meet criteria of having been brought to the U.S. before age 16 and being under the age of 30 at time of enactment and being present in the U.S. at least 5 years before enactment of the amnesty, among other criteria.
2. Work Permits Given: Once they allege these minimal criteria, the illegal aliens are given "conditional lawful permanent resident status" and are given a 10-year work permit to compete directly with the 22 million Americans who want a full-time job but can't find one.
Estimates suggest that up to 2 million illegal aliens could legitimately qualify for the opening application, and perhaps a couple million more might be or look young enough to fraudulently apply.
Those millions would immediately be able to legally compete for any U.S. job.
3. Ten Years of Work Before Education Required: Despite all the talk about how this amnesty is just for people who go to college or serve in the military, the illegal aliens don't have to do much of anything in that regard to have the legal right to work for 10 years.
Everybody who applies and gets the work permits has 10 years to complete two years of college or two years of military. Ten Years!
By the way, despite the fact that some media outlets have taken to referring to the potential recipients of the amnesty as "the best and the brightest" and "stars," illegal aliens can get the 10-year work permit merely by completing a GED and enrolling in a single course in a community college or trade school.
4. When 10 Years Are Up, What's The Chance of Anybody Being Asked to Leave? At the end of 10 years, illegal aliens who have not compiled two years of college or military would finally lose the right to compete legally with unemployed Americans for a job.
But they also would have sunk 10 more years of roots into their communities, building up an even bigger claim that it would be a hardship to be forced to leave this country. In addition, their advocates in the open-borders groups can say that they aren't really illegal aliens since they have just spent 10 years living and working as legal residents.
Fortunately for them, the DREAM amnesty allows those who fail to meet any of the criteria after 10 years to file a claim of hardship. The US Citizenship & Immigration Services agency is given the right to issue waivers and allow these illegal aliens to stay. By the way, they can get a waiver if the hardship is to them, or if it would be to a spouse, one of their children or one of their parents.
In the end, it is not only the 2 million potential qualified opening applicants but millions of potential fraudulant applicants who will get 10 years of legal competition against unemployed Americans. The only way the frauds can lose their work permit is if the government brings individualized cases to prove that they lied on the applications. Want to guess how many of the millions of fraud cases the government would have time to investigate and prosecute -- one by one?
Are any of the pro-DREAM amnesty supporters thinking about that?
Aside from all the issues of rewarding or encouraging law-breaking, there is the question about why this Lame Duck Congress at this time of 9.8% unemployment would feel the need to greatly increase the job competition for unemployed Americans.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Dec 8th 2010 @ 9:18am EST