A compelling story came across the news wires earlier this week about the student body president at Fresno State University. Pedro Ramirez moved to California when he was 3-years-old and has known nothing but life in America. But during his senior year in high school, the valedictorian's parents dropped a bombshell, telling him he was an illegal alien.
Pedro went public with the truth about his immigration status on Tuesday -- the same day Pres. Obama and leaders from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met at the White House to discuss the DREAM Act. Instead of the President focusing on ways to create jobs for 22 million unemployed Americans, he spent his Tuesday afternoon looking for a way to overwhelm the job market with more foreign workers – just one of the unknown consequences of the DREAM Act.
But there’s more.
In Pedro’s mind, and probably the majority of Americans, he is an American himself despite his immigration status. Even the staunchest of amnesty opponents would likely have some sympathy toward Pedro’s situation. Afterall, he's spent almost all of his life in the United States and appears to be a great student with a promising future.
Luckily for Pedro, federal law allows for an exceptional case like his to be reviewed by an immigration judge who can prevent his deportation. But for the DREAM Act supporters, that’s not good enough. They insist on supporting a piece of legislation that does much more than what they say it will do.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll also see DREAM Act supporters marching photogenic high school students in front of cameras and parading them through the halls of Congress. But what you won't see is the DREAM Act supporters showcasing the parents of those students even though they'll benefit from the amnesty bill as well. Once an illegal alien receives citizenship through the DREAM Act, they can then sponsor their parents and many other family members who happen to be living in the United State illegally.
Another tidbit DREAM Act supporters won't tell you is that an illegal alien can have up to two misdemeanor convictions and still qualify for amnesty under the bill. So while you read about valedictorians and class presidents and captains of the debate team, you won't hear about the individuals who have been convicted twice for vandalism or petty theft or simple assault or reckless driving.
The DREAM Act refers to the Immigration and Nationality Act for determining who can receive the amnesty, and the INA considers an individual admissible to the United States as long as they have no more than two misdemeanor convictions.
Those are just two of the many flaws with the DREAM Act. In fact, there are so many bad things in the bill that our Capitol Hill team has produced a 4-page outline listing all the scary details. (There's a condensed, 1-page version, too.)
While I don't condone illegal immigration, I do feel bad for Pedro because instead of the DREAM Act supporters presenting a non-controversial proposal, they insist on a mass amnesty bill that they try to hide with compelling stories.
And illegal aliens like Pedro don't have a fighting chance of its passage.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content and Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Aug 1st 2011 @ 4:41pm EDT