STARS Act – A Reasonable DREAM Act But It’s Still the DREAM Act

June 14, 2012
By

There are areas along the Rio Grande where people can just walk across from Mexico to the United States without even being noticedn

Republicans lose most of the Latino vote because Republicans are seen as less receptive to them and even racist while Democrats come off as their saviors.

It is most unfortunate because Latinos tend to share more values with Republicans and Conservatives than they do Democrats.

The open borders crowd tries to make illegal immigration about racism and they have succeeded to a large extent.

When I see reasonable amnesty plans ignored, I think we lose a lot of potential Hispanic voters. Unfortunately, our borders are not secure and that it the sticking point with amnesty, racism is not the issue.

At least 30% of the people migrating here illegally are not Hispanic. Some are likely to be terrorists or drug dealers.

Open borders, which we now have and which are being promoted by the left, are a sign of a sick society – a nation in decline.

Where does the DREAM Act fit into this? For those who don’t know what it is, it is a plan to give illegal youth access to college grants and scholarships. Several states have passed a version of the DREAM Act.

Is any version of the DREAM Act acceptable?

The DREAM Act adds costs to our unsustainable college loan and grant program to help youth who are here illegally. Some versions of the DREAM Act allow for extended family members to remain in the country, setting up chain migration. It tends to make illegal immigration more acceptable and even attractive. Illegals do come here for the education.

On the other hand, there are youth here who, through no fault of their own and who have spent their entire lives in this country, are not eligible for the same benefits as U.S. citizens which includes scholarships they have earned through academic and/or athletic ability.

When a bill does arise to deal with this issue, it is often abused however. Colorado’s version is a good example of that. Colorado has foolishly placed illegals before out-of-state citizens on their college grant program approval lists. This is the kind of thing that makes organizations like FAIR reject all versions of the DREAM Act.

Marco Rubio has been taking heat for talking about his version of the DREAM Act and it was generally accepted he would submit it. Instead, a similar bill has been put into the House by Florida House Republican, David Rivera. It is more acceptable than many I have seen to date. The Rivera bill does allow for a path to citizenship while the Rubio bill does not.

The Rivera bill, HR 5869 Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act is still alarming to groups, such as Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), who believe any amnesty legislation will “encourage rampant illegal immigration and create more pressure for additional amnesties.”

STARS is very limited in scope. It only applies to people under 19 years of age (in some cases 21) who have been in the country for 5 years or more and who came before age 16. The individual must be enrolled in a college and must complete the program within a limited time frame.

There are other restrictions that include medical and criminal checks. The individual can work in the United States but must pay taxes. There is no provision for the youth’s family to be given any conditional immigration status. There is the possibility of beginning a path to citizenship for the youth upon graduation. The young person is also allowed to join the U.S. military.

FAIR is opposed -

“The American people have categorically rejected the notion of granting amnesty to people who violate our immigration laws. Americans know that doing so is both unfair and irresponsible,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

“Once Congress rewards illegal aliens for bringing minor children to the United States illegally, more aliens will enter the country illegally with their children – or worse yet, send them on their own. Thus, passage of the STARS Act would not be the end of the amnesty process, but the beginning of a process for amnesty advocates to achieve the comprehensive amnesty they have sought piece by piece,” Stein warned.

Rivera justifies it -

 “Many young immigrants have found themselves stuck in limbo due to our failure to address immigration reform.”

Stein rebuts -

“That assertion is patently false and offensive to the American public,” Stein responded. “Illegal alien parents who brought their children here illegally are at fault, not the American public, nor our policies. Our immigration laws need to be enforced, not reformed in a way that accommodates and rewards the lawbreaking.”

“The problem of mass illegal immigration cannot be dealt with by rewarding people who break our laws with amnesty, either piecemeal or comprehensively. The only effective approach is a wholesale reform of our immigration system, one that discourages people from coming or remaining in the U.S. illegally by removing all incentives or rewards for breaking the law. The STARS Act is yet another reward for illegal behavior that will create a new incentive for more people to break our laws,” concluded Stein.

When Rivera introduced his bill, he had by his side, Daniela Pelaez, a student at North Miami Senior High School and valedictorian of her class. A judge ordered her to be deported as an illegal immigrant back to Colombia last year.

Following the order, more than 1,000 of her classmates protested and the issue made headlines across the country. The Obama administration intervened, granting her a two-year temporary stay.

Pelaez’ father is now a permanent resident but her mother is ill and remains in Colombia. Daniela is an outstanding student and has been accepted at Dartmouth with the goal of being a heart surgeon.

The STARS Act would allow illegal immigrants like Pelaez to stay for another five years and eventually gain legal status if they earn a college degree and meet other criteria.

Should Republicans and Conservatives look to help this group of people? Would this outreach be reasonable and would it help send a message that is different than the negative ones being received by the Latino community. Is FAIR correct or is Rep. Rivera on the right track?

Outright amnesty would be a clear error, especially while the borders remain as porous as they are, but are there some reasonable steps we should be taking?

In any case, I do not want to see the DREAM Act federalized. If states choose to pass it, so be it.

The only thing the federal government should be looking to do is closing the borders and then looking at a reasonable plan for amnesty, one that does not penalize all those who have been waiting to get into this country legally.

 

 

Read more at Gov Track and Immigration Impact

Tags:

Email Newsletter

The newsletter is mailed out every two weeks.