Sen. Vitter: DREAM Act Is Amnesty

September 15, 2010 2:46 pm ET


Madam President, I was very disappointed to learn recently that Senator Reid intends to bring us a very significant amnesty proposal next week.

It's known as the Dream Act.

It's disguised as an education initiative but it will provide a powerful incentive for more illegal immigration by allowing states to grant in-state tuition to illegal alien students.

This is a bad idea at any time but this is a bad idea right now, at the worst possible time.

Unfortunately, this announcement isn't shocking given Senator Reid and this administration's record of pushing policies on the American people that the people oppose.

And in these difficult economic times, it's really an insult to legal, tax-paying citizens that the President, Senator Reid would want to use our hard-earned money to pay for in-state college tuition for illegal aliens.

You know, Madam President, this horrible economy has increased the demand for enrollment and help at public universities.

And as a growing number of families are unable to afford an education at a private university, they turn to public universities in increasing numbers and turn to that help, including in-state tuition in increasing numbers.

At a time when many Americans can't afford to send their children to college at all, this bill would allow states to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens who would displace legal residents competing for those taxpayer subsidies.

Now I'm opposed to this proposal because of that, because it would unfairly place American citizens in direct competition with illegal aliens for our very scarce slots in classes at state colleges and universities.

The number of those coveted seats is fixed, so every illegal alien who would be admitted because of this, through the Dream Act, would take the place of an American citizen or legal immigrant.

It makes no sense to authorize federal and state subsidies for education of illegal aliens when our state schools are suffering as higher education budgets are slashed, admissions are curtailed and tuition increases.

Enactment of the Dream Act would do just this, and it would be bad policy under any circumstances, but in the current economic climate, it would be a catastrophe.

Again, the Dream Act would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who entered the US as minors and who meet loosely defined, so-called educational requirements.