The PJ Tatler

Obama's DREAM Decree is a Bigger Nightmare Than You Think

Young illegal aliens “brought here by their parents” “through no fault of their own” are the focus of Obama’s DREAM fiat, and the politics are obvious: They’re the most sympathetic illegal aliens. They didn’t choose to come here. They grew up here. Some of them may not have even known they were illegal aliens for years after they arrived. How much can a six-year-old know about their legal status?

Obama focused on these illegal aliens when he announced his DREAM diktat last week. That, like many things that come out of Obama’s mouth, wasn’t quite true according to Mickey Kaus:

As this CIS report notes, 1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were “brought to this country by their parents.” It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement. 2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.”  It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,” says CIS’s Jon Feere. As an illegal immigrant you can go back homeabroad for multiple 6-month stintsduring those five years–but, if precedent holds, in Janet Napolitano’s eyes you will still “know only this country as home.” …

Even if you know two countries as home, and can only be present in this one illegally. This means, among other things, that the 800,000 number bandied about by the administration is smaller than the total number of aliens involved.

Yet today we get a schizophrenic poll out of Rasmussen, indicating some support for what the president did last week.

71% Favor Work Permits for Young Illegal Immigrants in Certain Circumstances

Most voters don’t think the government is aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants but agree with President Obama’s decision to allow young people brought here illegally who meet certain criteria to avoid deportation.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government is not making enough effort to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Only 16% feel the government is doing too much to deport illegals, while 25% say the current amount of effort is about right. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Click to look at the questions, and Rasmussen didn’t ask the right ones.

1* How closely have you followed recent news reports about President Obama’s new immigration policy?

2* Is the federal government making too much of an effort to identify and deport illegal immigrants in this country, not enough of an effort, or about the right amount of effort?

3* If adults enter theUnited States illegally, but don’t break any other laws, should they be considered as lawbreakers?

4* If young people are brought here illegally by their parents, should they be considered as lawbreakers?

5* Suppose someone was brought to the country illegally when they were under 16. If they have no criminal record, have graduated from high school or have served in the military, should they be allowed to apply for work permits or should they be deported?

How about asking if the president should unilaterally enact a sweeping policy change that Congress weighed in on but did not pass?

In that 54% who think the federal government isn’t doing enough to identity and deport illegal aliens, there is an opportunity for the Republicans to point out that the president’s policy means the federal government will be doing even less on this front. They could also point out that Obama promised to have legislation available 72 hours before votes. In this case, he violated the law (no legislation) and violated that promise by springing the policy change on the nation as a surprise.