Defeated Multiple Times, DREAM Act Returns, Awaits Same Fate

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

August 2, 2017
‘Future’ includes work permits, deportation
protection, and amnesty.
Since it was first introduced in Congress in 2001, the DREAM Act has repeatedly failed to become law. While the DREAM Act is popular with some congressional factions, it has met with widespread criticism in most districts. Subsequently, legislators bowed to public pressure and voted it down. The House of Representatives and the Senate have rejected the DREAM Act’s multiple versions. Efforts to sneak the DREAM Act into amendments to must-pass defense spending bills have also failed.

Misleadingly referred to in the media as bipartisan legislation, DREAM Act co-sponsors have always included pro-immigration, pro-amnesty Republicans. In the original 2001 DREAM Act, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) joined Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) to promote the bill. Hatch’s immigration grade is F-. Last month, Durbin introduced a new DREAM Act, this time with his Gang of Eight amnesty colleague Lindsey Graham as co-sponsor.

The latest DREAM Act is similar to previously defeated bills. When asked why this time around should be different, Graham responded with the well-worn bromide that President Trump needs to fix “a broken immigration system.” In the improbable event that the DREAM Act reaches President Trump’s desk, however, he’s highly unlikely to sign it.

Durbin and Graham are less forthcoming about what their DREAM Act, S 1615, would do. First, it would in direct opposition to President Trump’s “hire American” platform, give amnesty and work permits to about two million illegal immigrants. Second, S 1615 would protect unauthorized aliens between the ages of 5 and 17 from deportation. Since S 1615 has no termination date, it would provide a rolling, permanent amnesty. Consequently, the DREAM Act would encourage more illegal immigration by parents with children so that the children would become U.S. citizenship-eligible when they reach 17.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your Senators to reject S 1615, legislation that Congress has, in response to voter resistance, rejected multiple times since 2001.

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