Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dream On

So, I'm relieved to say the Dream Act - the bill that would provide citizenship for illegal immigrant offspring if they go to college or join the military - failed.

My growing dislike for the act came from one place: I don't trust anything with a fluffy, positive acronym. The Dream Act? It sounds like something I saw in Tijuana involving Louie Anderson and a tub of pudding. So, of course, the actual bill would be a let down.

Anyway, the name stands for "The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act," and that was the problem. It was a lousy bill based on a bunch of unfortunate words, that together, don't mean squat.

They were picked to spell "dream." That's it.

Now, I was for the Act, until I read up on it. Here's what I noticed:

-the idiotic qualification "if they go to college or join the military" equates sacrifice with reward. I'm all for giving citizenship for immigrants who defend our country -because that's awesome. But getting citizenship because you go to school? Seriously. Snoring in class is easy. War is hell.

-the age range for eligibility, even after it was dialed back - is still too broad (up to age 30), with the potential for lying so wide - that the act seems as porous as our border. It's like we're replacing a sieve, with a sieve.

But look - I'm for some kind of Dream Act, but not this one. Let's revamp legal immigration: first let's act like every other country (including Mexico) and secure our borders, then fix this Act. But to do that, we need to be honest. Stop tying lousy bills to emotional heartstrings. Call it what it is. This is about jobs, not diplomas. My suggestion, ditch the school crap, make the military the primary avenue for citizenship.

Make it a sequel. The Dream Act 2: Killing For A Green Card.