Yesterday, the House passed the DREAM Act which would provide a path to legalization to children of undocumented immigrants who enroll in college or serve in the military. Naturally, most Republicans opposed the measure. It’s “a nightmare for the American people,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). “It insults American workers, American taxpayers and anyone who believes in the rule of law.” One GOP congressman even said it’s unfair to “non-minorities.” “So those voting for this so-called DREAM Act are voting to relegate the position of non-minority American citizens to behind those who are now in this country illegally,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).
Glenn Beck picked up on this theme on his radio show today. Misreading the provisions of the bill entirely, a caller said, “I’m going to need to prove that I’m an illegal alien so I can qualify for the in-state tuition” (of course, current law allows an American citizen to qualify for in-state tuition). Beck — famous for calling President Obama “a racist” who has a hatred for white people — then told the caller that he might want to steal a Mexican’s identity because it’s hard being a white guy in America trying to go to college:
CALLER: I can just make up a Mexican ID number and that won’t be identity theft.
BECK: No it won’t, it won’t be identity theft. No it’s not identity theft. Definitely not. At least not here. In Mexico you’ll probably go to jail for all of this but not here. Well no wait a minute, are you white?
CALLER: I can be.
BECK: You can be. You don’t want to be. You don’t want to be because if you’re white or you’re an American citizen or a white American citizen, you’re pretty much toast.
Media Matters has the audio:
It’s unclear why anyone thinks the DREAM Act somehow disenfranchises American citizens, because nothing in the bill places undocumented children at an advantage over citizens. The bill the House passed yesterday is not amnesty; it places demands on those undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. with their parents and are thus here illegally through no fault of their own. The Hill provides some key details:
The House legislation extends conditional legal status for five years to those illegal aliens who:
• Were younger than 16 when they entered the country
• Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years
• Have a degree from a U.S. high school, or the equivalent
Beneficiaries can apply for an additional five years of conditional nonimmigrant status if they’ve completed at least two years of higher education or military service. Afterward, they could apply for permanent legal status.
As House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer put it, “The beneficiaries of the DREAM Act are the kind of Americans we want.”