Maine Voices: Amnesty bill to let illegal immigrants go to college unfair to citizens

Selvin Arevalo, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, age 25 and working toward his high school diploma, has been painting houses in Portland. He was recently jailed after a minor car accident disclosed his status, and he faces deportation.

In an MPBN story, he expressed his hope that Congress would pass the DREAM Act amnesty law so he could pursue his dream of studying computer science in America and “seeking a better life.”

Mr. Arevalo may be an ambitious and hard-working young man, and he might be a good citizen.

But he broke our laws. He has no right to be here. And like every country, we limit immigration for good reasons.

At least 4 billion people have incomes lower than the average Guatemalan. Many would like to “make a better life.” We limit immigration to protect the jobs and wages of our own citizens, not because we don’t like foreign people.

More than 15 million Americans, many of them unskilled workers like Mr. Arevalo, are currently unemployed. Their welfare comes first.

Immigrant advocates lobbying for the DREAM Act often portray this legislation as humane and compassionate, especially for illegal youth who were brought to this country by their parents at a young age. These young people are innocent of the crime their parents committed. And they are in a predicament.

Even though they have all the rights and benefits of citizenship in their native land where they are citizens, they don’t want to go back.

But what is the right thing to do? And where do we draw the line? Living by the rule of law is fair, but it’s not always comfortable.

If the DREAM Act provided amnesty to only a handful of exceptional youths, then it probably would have already passed. Advocates have been pushing it for nine years. But the fact is, the DREAM Act is not what the advocates claim. It’s a Trojan horse.

More than 2 million illegal immigrants up to the age of 35 would be eligible for amnesty and a path to citizenship.

As citizens, each of them would be able to sponsor for immigration their parents and extended families, who were not “innocent” children when they broke our laws.

The DREAM Act would be the 8th amnesty since 1986. Millions of illegal immigrants have learned that if you break our laws and stay long enough, Congress can be convinced it would be too great a hardship to send you home. It’s not surprising they keep coming.

And there is nothing in this legislation to prevent fraud, which has been a major problem in previous amnesties. The burden of proof does not fall on the immigrant who applies, but on the American taxpayer. And there is nothing in this legislation to prevent other parents from bringing their children here illegally, and putting them in the same position, creating the need for yet another DREAM Act amnesty.

Wealthy corporate elites, like the heads of Disney, Hewlett Packard, Boeing, etc., have joined with billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch to form the Partnership for the New American Economy. Their goal is to lobby Congress for expanded immigration, and shape the immigration story in our media so Congress will continue to pass amnesties.

The DREAM Act is their dream too: importing more cheap labor, new consumers and open borders. But we don’t have to buy it.

Democratic Party leadership looks at these millions of illegal immigrants, mostly poor and ethnic minorities, as potential Democrats, deeply grateful for their citizenship. Not surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced his intention to pass the DREAM Act in the current lame duck session.

Maine’s congressional delegation will be heavily lobbied by immigrant advocates, many of whom are funded with corporate money. But don’t expect corporate moguls to put the open borders agenda honestly before the American voter.

They give us a Trojan horse, like the DREAM Act, and illegal immigrants like Selvin Arevalo will carry the flag.

Mr. Arevalo needs to go back to Guatemala and tell his friends to stop coming. Those jobs in computer sciences belong to our youth first.

Illegal immigration will not end until Congress has the spine to enforce our laws decisively and impartially. And the DREAM Act should be defeated once again.