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Dr. Harold Pease

Most know that the Dream Act came to us in two phases, the first many years ago, and the second initiated into law just last January. The initial process was to allow illegals to enter U. S. colleges, after high school graduation, even if they had only been in the country a few months, without paying fees required of foreign students or even out of state students. The argument made by out of state students was that illegals had more assistance than they. The argument made by foreign students, who seek to be educated in the United States, is why does one country get free assistance and not another. It is certainly a double standard.

A powerful argument against equal funding of everyone is that it is not equal. The huge education expenses necessary are subsidized by the long-term taxpayer and should benefit his children first. This is why we have extra fees for out of state or foreign students—to make the process fair to our own. New immigrants, whether legal or not, could not contribute enough on a short-term basis to make this fair. Certainly Mexico would not even try to subsidize Americans sneaking into their country.

The second phase of the Dream Act became law in California January I, 2012. It authorized illegals to compete for state grants, fee waivers and university scholarships—about 40 million dollars in public funds—with those of legal residents.

Meet Jennifer (name changed as she fears repercussion from our government for her views), a Canadian student in the college where I work. She shared her story of the multi-levels of hoops that she has had to endure to go to college in the U. S. and still without any subsidized assistance as is readily available to illegals. “Before my mother and I could move here from Canada my mother had to have a secure job awaiting her, along with a visa sponsored by that job. She also had to take several exams and become licensed as a nurse here in California.” She was already a nurse in Canada. This process took about a year. Visas had to be renewed annually at a cost of $50.00 each. After five years of visa renewal we “were eligible to apply for permanent residency at a cost of about $10,000.”

She continued, “During this process you have to go through a lot of paper work and appointments at the local immigration office. We had all of our fingerprints taken, background checks, along with all of our immunizations that we have had throughout our lifetime. We were also tested for various diseases such as TB, HIV, etc. and even had to take a urine test. After all of that was cleared, after a waiting period, we received our social security card and a work authorization card. My mother was already allowed to work in the U. S. with her visa, but since I was her dependent, I was not. So I was not able to work, or obtain my drivers license until I had my social and work authorization documentation.”

After four years of this they still await their green card approval and were told, “it could take up to five more years, if not longer, due to the back log. I was told that only now are they reviewing applications for permanent residency from 2005. So who knows, maybe in a few years we will have our approval. After this, we can apply for citizenship which, in itself, will be another long process.”

She spoke of her difficulty getting into college, even as a 2006 California high school graduate, because she was a legal immigrant. She was told that she could not attend college without a green card (which she could not provide because she was in the application process) or a student visa (which one does not have to renew annually once you apply for the green card)—bureaucratic run-around at its best. Finally, after four years of failed attempts to get into college, she learned of AB 540 which enabled her to attend by paying out of state tuition, although, “I still do not qualify for any assistance such as fasfa, etc. [Federal Student Aid] due to the fact that I am awaiting my green card.” Even so, although otherwise qualified, she still cannot get into the universities nursing program without the green card. “There are no exceptions.”

Contrast her story with those who sneak across our southern border illegally, run from law enforcement, and easily find work in the U.S., without all the testing and preconditions, because employers and government look the other way and reward their children with incentives and now scholarships not available to those who are honest and open in their entry. Her response, “The Dream Act upsets me greatly, I could have been finished with school.”

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.