The passage of the DREAM Act in the House on Wednesday makes me think how quickly we forget to be thankful after Thanksgiving. Instead of being thankful for the education and other opportunities they have already received, potential beneficiaries of the DREAM Act amnesty are asking for more. More education, more jobs, more benefits, and everything else that comes with amnesty and American citizenship.
These kids illegally received the benefits of American citizens. While the mantra of DREAM Act proponents is that their illegal presence is through no fault of their own and they didn’t have a choice in coming the United States, I cannot help but ask why the parents aren’t being held responsible. The parents had a choice and they chose to break the law, putting their children in this compromising position. The U.S. government should not take on the responsibility of other people’ s bad decisions.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that parents make bad decisions for their children all the time. In the cases of illegal alien minors (up to age 29 in the revised DREAM Act), the parents took a risk and their children benefited through education and jobs, but the consequences of their actions catch up to them. Their misdeeds are revealed and their kids have to deal with the consequences just as children of American citizens deal with the consequences of their parents’ bad decisions that affect them adversely. Yet, no accountability is affixed on the parents who broke the law to bring their children here.
Too many people fail to realize that “ the land of the free” does not mean free from burden, responsibility, or consequences. While many of the human interest stories regarding the DREAM Act are compelling tales of personal struggle, law enforcement should not be based on convenience or individual circumstance. Period. When it is, everyone expects to be the exception and the rule of law crumbles into meaninglessness.
Another favorite refrain of the so-called DREAMers is that they are wholly unfamiliar with their home countries. Personally, this one doesn’ t resonate with me. I have lived in four different countries in the past four years. I’ ve moved to each one not knowing anyone there or the language. I learned a new language. I made friends. I made a life for myself. Many people all over the world do this and are better for it. In most cases, there is no reason these kids would not be able to do the same.
There are so many problems with the DREAM Act. But the bottom line is that no matter how you cut it, amnesty begets amnesty. How many more parents will risk bringing their children here illegally if we give amnesty to the ones here now? No one can know the exact number, but we know that it will be too many.
Caroline Espinosa is a former U.S. Senator press secretary and spokesperson for NumbersUSA
Updated: Sat, Dec 11th 2010 @ 3:27pm EST