City Journal Autumn 2014

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Lloyd Billingsley
The DREAM and the Nightmare « Back to Story

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Im not trying to be mean, because I believe all children should have a chance at a good education. however, if they are or come or they are here illegally we shouldnt have to pay for them.
Supporter - I find it ironic that you invoke notions of common sense to inveigh against those who stand against the Dream Act or any variants thereof.

The rationale behind setting lower tuition rates for in-state residents is that the state desires to develop human capital in the form of educated citizens and does so with the understanding that a certain significant number will remain in-state and be lawfully employed after they finish courses of study. "Common sense" would dictate that providing educational subsidies to those who cannot be lawfully employed is a foolish economic policy because the state receives no return on its subsidies. Rather than lecture on about common sense, why not be open about what you really support? Your likely calculation is that once Dream Act (or variants thereof) recipients become educated, they will be less likely viewed as significant and costly consumers of social programs, and it will make arguments towards full citizenship more palatable than they are today. The elephant in the room is indeed the very significant social costs imposed by illegal immigrants - whether in the form of prison costs, educational costs, welfare costs, opportunity costs (cheap illegal wages stifle innovation), the present and future costs of an uneducated and in some cases uneducable population, and so on. These costs are enormous, and unquestionably are degrading the quality of life in jurisdictions like California. The raw data makes for a very tough sell and is rarely openly discussed, especially by immigration advocates (this doesn't make the costs disappear, however); hence the emotive assertions such as the ones you make, and the hectoring over a lack of common sense. In fact, those that look at the enormous costs and burdens behind illegal immigration do not possess misconceptions as they know all too well the economic and social costs of an undisciplined immigration policy. And I am wholly unimpressed by allegations of racism. My neighbors from Mexico came here legally and have six children (two adopted). Both of their parents insisted on learning English and assimilating, which of course might have something to do with their obtain law and electrical engineering degrees and integrating into the American economy. I can assure that while they run into bigots every once in a while, they are not victims of racism. Indeed, if I would risk stereotyping them, they are about as kind and open a family as can be, and in no way angry frustrated people. I can't help but think that the incentives and high bar placed before their parents in terms of obtaining legal citizenship has made all of the difference. People tend to value what they must work for.
Latino students generally tend to be low academic achievers. The number who go to college is small.

As for paying taxes for services, that also applies to younger folks paying a Medicare tax and not being allowed to use Medicare services, even when they cannot afford their own healthcare.
I stumbled across this article by accident. It seems that most people have a misconception about what the DREAM act offers to Latino students.

First and foremost, the DREAM act will not create an open boarder system or increase immigration as some individuals believe. Moreover what many people do not realize, due to a lack of common sense, is that these students were brought here by their parents, and should be given equal opportunities. Finally, the amount of Latino students who do attend universities is much smaller than what many believe. Increasing the Latino student population will bring new talent to the United States, further the growth of our knowledge based society and create a diverse atmosphere.

As someone who does extensive immigration research, I am saddened by the perspectives that conservatives and uninformed individuals have about the education system and economic progress.

Some of the comments below are subtly racist, such as Jaytrain's comment about illegal immigrants and Anglo kids mowing lawns. It is truly disgusting to see this behavior, and I hope that these attitudes are not passed on to your kids and future generations.
The Dream Act is a step toward an open borders society, it is just that simple. How can the government on the one hand pretend to enforce immigration law but reward those who are good enough to evade that law for a number of years until such time their children are of college age?

At a time in our nation's history in which government at all levels is headed over a financial cliff and a college education is unaffordable to average, law-abiding citizens how can we justify subsidizing law-breakers from other nations?

Their kids may be "innocent" but there are even needier innocent kids all over the world. Why should these get priority just because their parents managed to break into our country? Those who support these ideas should just come out and admit their true agenda, a borderless country.

The educational system has been set up for the benefit of (and is funded by) the AMERICAN people, not law breakers from everywhere else.
I feel like the belief that “a new entitlement that is going to cause tens of thousands of people to come here illegally from all over the world” is a common one...however the act specified this "road to citizenship" would only be available to those already here and there is a cutoff age. As of yet, it does not apply to anyone arriving later.
Also, I think we can all agree things are not as simple as "getting rid of all the illegals" nor should they be.
I fail to see the downfall to an increase in legal, tax-paying workers.
That being said, I agree with the fact that California's university system is letting its students down. I believe there is place for a DREAM act and legal students to attend university. One does not need to pin born-citizens against immigrants.
It seems to me that an aggressive US Solicitor General can sue the hell out of California over its perversions under the Dream Act and other insults to immigration law.

Thousands of consent decrees have been signed between school districts and federal courts to enforce arcane points of civil rights law. Now the courts could be compelled to issue new judicial legislation to close their contortions over illegal immigration via a rehearing of familiar doctrines, to whit:

*State government conspiracy against restriction of illegal immigration, disregard of US law on documentation of entry and ID documents;
*Unequal protection of law, discriminating on behalf of a class of persons with no right of residency;
*Lack of due process in the award and allocation of public monies and services (such as student loans);
*Failure to stem waste, or reasonably ascertain and adhere to objectives in the expenditure of education money and legislation directing them (think of the emerging class action movement against fraudulent education, leaving students jobles and in high debt).

I could go on and on. Why don't clever Californians take up the challenge and raise it this campaign year?
Yes , Vickie , these illegals need to go . And we here in Alabama are doing our part to put them on the road to Amnestyland . The state's new immigration control statute has made living and working here not so easy as it was . As a result , last month the Alabama unemployment rate dropped again by a full one half percent to 7.3% . These , I guess , were the jobs real 'Muricns didn't want to do . It'll be nice to see anglo college kids mowing the lawns again like in yesteryear.
I'd back a modified DREAM act, but it wouldn't be enough to simply attempt to regularize your immigration status.

Serve a tour with the armed forces or the coast guard. Earn an honorable discharge. You're in--a citizen, and entitled then to everything you would have been entitled to apart from that difficulty of not being a citizen.
I love University of California having been a student & lecturer. Like so many I am disappointed by Chancellor Birgeneau’s failure to arrest escalating costs/tuition. Birgeneau doubled instate tuition. On an all-in cost UC Berkeley is the most expensive public university; more expensive than Harvard, Yale. Tuition consumes more than 14% of a median family income.
UC Berkeley ranked # 2 in faculty earning potential. Paying more is not a better university. Birgeneau dismissed: increasing the number of classes per faculty; eliminating courses with too few students; refraining from exorbitant salaries, bonuses; doubling the time between sabbaticals; freezing all vacant positions; freezing pay, benefits & reforming pensions, health costs. Birgeneau believes fiscal efficiency is not healthy for Cal. Exodus of faculty, chancellors, and administrators: who can afford them?
An American Enterprise Institute study found that UC Berkeley can operate well on much leaner budgets. Californians agree it is far from the ideal situation.
Recently, Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police rammed baton jabs on Cal. students protesting Birgeneau’s doubling of tuition/fees. The sky above Cal. will not fall when Robert J. Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) honorably resigns. Email opinions to the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu




I do not see how this is going to help California's economy when these illegals graduate, they will not be able to work legally because they do not have papers. So there goes, the benefit to the state.
Illegals need to go. Everything to induce them to go on their own needs to be implemented.