Monday, December 20, 2010

The DREAM Act--why I'm glad it stayed a bill

It's kind of funny that I just made this connection, mainly thanks to Himself and his posting of the old Schoolhouse Rock "How a Bill Becomes a Law".  The DREAM Act is not an act, it is a bill--those tricky Democrats and their labeling again--trying to make its passage a foregone conclusion. 

I don't have a problem with half of the DREAM bill.  If someone wants to put in the time and serve our country in the military (even though they are probably having to do it with forged or false documents--another issue) then they have begun the process of giving something back to the country in which they reside.  And I think that is a good first step towards citizenship.  HOWEVER, I don't think that enrolling in college for two years should be considered to be equivalent to such service.  And here's why:

1.)  The DREAM bill proposed to subsidize, using our tax dollars, college enrollment for illegals--to the tune of $6000/year.  Now, this is discriminatory since legal citizens can't get the same subsidy. 

2.)  Many states allow illegals to pay in-state tuition which has never made sense to me.  If you are illegal, you are not a legal resident of a state.  Therefore, you should pay out-of-state tuition rates, just as any other LEGAL citizen of another state would.

3.)  The graduation rates (six year) for first-generation college students are very low (15% vs. 49%) and the six year graduation rates for Hispanics are lower as well (even compared with other minorities), regardless of economic demographic, which doesn't bode well for them to actually get a degree and most probably won't stay in the required two years (thus necessitating additional programs and moneys to help them get through those two years).  But I'm thinking that once they were in the system, there would be no oversight nor any repercussions for not completing those two years (in other words there would be no 'stay in college or get deported' kind of enforcement).

4.)  And lastly, there has been much in the news for the past two years about how recent college grads are unable to find jobs (by that they mean jobs in their field).  If graduates with Bachelors degrees are unable to find jobs, how on God's Green Earth are folks with two years of college supposed to compete?

The Congressional Budget Office (which has proven itself to be useless--see ObamaCare) says that they project a $1.4 billion reduction to the deficit over the next ten years due to the increase in authorized tax-paying workers. 

However, a report from the Center for Immigration Studies estimates the cost to the American Taxpayer is $6.2 billion/YEAR.  And the part of the CBO report you didn't hear about is that after 2020, the DREAM bill would increase deficits by $5 to $20 billion over the next forty years (2020-2061).  This would be when the recipients of the largess of the taxpayer dollar would become legally eligible for all of the other tax-run goodies such as Medicaid, food stamps/welfare, and other federal health programs. (source: 
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/dream-act-budget-reid/2010/12/05/id/379020?s=al&promo_code=B3DF-1)

So, with the low graduation rates, the costs, both hidden and open, and the down-the-line costs, where is the upside for the United States in subsidizing illegals' college careers??

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