The Mad Dash

by Dave Schuler on November 10, 2012

As Republican leaders make a mad dash towards immigration reform, probably including some form of the DREAM Act, I can’t help but wonder if the impact of that particular piece of legislation won’t be much less than its advocates are claiming. The draft legislation has appeared in various forms. Most of the versions generally require that it applies to individuals who

  • Arrived in the U. S. before age 16.
  • Graduated from high school.
  • Have maintained continuous residence in the U. S. for five consecutive years since arriving here.

I wonder how many people actually fit into that class or, more to the point, can prove they fit into that class? I’m guessing it’s a lot fewer than the 2 million that some are claiming would be affected. I suppose the real question is whether the letter of the law would be enforced or in practice it would become a blanket amnesty.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jimbino November 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

They should be required to mow my lawn too. If all the illegals are granted amnesty, who’s going to do all the work around here?

Andy November 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

Exactly right, the “proving” will be difficult.

Just a personal example, I’m still trying to prove to the Air Force that I received 2 particular medals when I was in the Navy. The medals are listed on my DD-214 (an official document of service), and I still have the original certificates along with the actual medals. But all that is not good enough for the Air Force – they insist I have to provide the order number for the awards, which is something I never received.

On the other hand, navigating government bureaucratic stupidity presents a business opportunity – I have no doubt firms will appear to help navigate the “proving” process for immigrants along with shadier operators who can create the proof if it doesn’t exist. Let’s call it a jobs program.

Janis Gore November 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

I know where you’re coming from, Andy. I talked to my brother on his deathbed to exact his discharge date in 1966.

PD Shaw November 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Children of illegal aliens have a Constitutional right to primary and secondary education. The reasoning was that children in this country without the ability to speak English or other basic skills needed to navigate through live here would be rendered little more than slaves to be abused by their employers. I also believe schools are required to maintain certain records indefinitely. On paper it would seem to me that all children actually covered by the DREAM Act should be able to demonstrate their status.

Dave Schuler November 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Transients, PD. A lot of these kids will have moved multiple times during the five year period. The burden of proof isn’t on the schools but on the petitioners and I suspect that quite a few won’t have the patience to put all of the records together.

Then there are the cases where they didn’t, in fact, live in the U. S. continuously for any five year period although they’ve spent most of their time here, off and on.

Finally, the on-time graduation rate among exactly the individuals who might be eligible is appallingly low. 50% or lower. That cuts out 50% of the potential population that would be served by the law right there.

TastyBits November 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm


Unless they were destroyed in the 1070′s fire, the gov’t has your records somewhere. Somewhere at the VA website you can request your records. You can also get in touch with a Navy association that could help you. Any vets organisation should help, but you will be harassed by a USMC organization, unless you were a Corpsman.

PD Shaw November 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I didn’t think about the high proportion of transients, but my framework was a little bit tongue and cheek. Education does not necessarily work as envisioned.

TastyBits November 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

For businesses, illegal workers are a boon. They do not call OSHA, and they are cheap. For politicians, immigration issues result in greater campaign contributions. The solution will probably be the same as last time. Amnesty will be traded for border security and employer enforcement. The second will not occur. Documented workers will call OSHA, and they are not cheap. They will once again be replaced with illegal workers.

Watching the Republicans trying to get more of the Hispanic voters is amusing. The Republicans wrote-off 47% of the country as people who want “stuff/goodies” from the gov’t, and this group included Hispanic voters. It turns out that the Republicans are actually the 47%. Instead of trying to learn a little more about these voters, they are applying the same myopic assessment again.

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