Most times when a politician takes a very partisan report and touts it as ‘the word’ he/she ends up looking foolish.
This was the case yesterday when Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to Twitter to hail the praises of the latest report coming from the Center for American Progress (CAP) on the benefits of the DREAM Act – including adding $329B to the U.S. economy and creating 1.4 million new jobs – and hilarity ensued. (In fairness to Mr. Reid, he was not the only one looking foolish)
As many may know, the DREAM Act was defeated in the U.S. Senate during a lame duck session in December of 2010 while Democrats enjoyed huge majorities in both houses of Congress and right before Republicans had taken back leadership in the House of Representatives and increased their share in the U.S. Senate. Sensing a final opportunity of getting it passed, Democrats tried ramming it through during a lame duck session but failed. But as you can see, they still aren’t giving up the fight for the over two million illegal aliens.
Like Mr. Reid, many others in the open-border lobby will look at this report and try to use it as another argument for why Congress should pass the DREAM Act. However, a closer examination of the findings of this report reveal some important points worth mentioning:
- The benefits listed in the report are based on projections 18 years into the future, and even using a multiplier of 18 they are still not very impressive;
- The report does not take into account the fact that the jobs that would be filled would probably have been filled by Americans or legal immigrants;
- The report does not take into account the opportunities lost by Americans to fill the seats at universities that these illegal aliens would take;
- The report does not take into account the public cost of subsidized in-state tuition for the newly legalized illegal aliens, and;
- The projected number of jobs that would be created by passage of the DREAM Act (1.4 million) does not even offset the number of projected DREAM Act beneficiaries (2.1 million), resulting in a 700,000 job deficit according to CAP’s estimation – that’s a 30 percent unemployment rate among this particular group, not something any politician would want to publicize.
Aside from any economic benefit real or claimed, let’s not lose sight of the higher principle. The decisions we make regarding immigration policy should not just be about dollars and cents – there’s an issue of right and wrong and the rule of law, which the DREAM Act violates. It’s an amnesty and like all amnesty it rewards illegal behavior, encourages more, and is fundamentally unfair to those who play by the rules.