Despite Media Mythmaking, the DREAM Act is for Adults

By Jon Feere, September 15, 2010

The open-border media continues to mislead the American public about the DREAM Act, which Sen. Harry Reid has said he will offer as an amendment to the defense spending bill as soon as next week. You wouldn't know it from reading a newspaper or scrolling through your favorite online news site, but the proposed amnesty is an amnesty for children and adults – illegal aliens up to 35 years of age (see Senate Bill S.729). This fact does not seem to have made it into the newsrooms across the nation:

The Los Angeles Times explains that the proposed measure "would allow minors" to receive amnesty.

The Wall Street Journal claims that it would benefit "undocumented minors."

Politico claims it would benefit "young, undocumented immigrants."

ABC describes the beneficiaries of the DREAM Act as "young illegal immigrants" and "children and teenage immigrants."

CBS claims it would benefit "undocumented young people."

The Associated Press is using the phrase, "young people in the country illegally."

CNN claims that the bill would benefit "young illegal immigrants."

Roll Call, an inside-the-beltway newspaper distributed to all offices on Capitol Hill each morning, claims that the bill is "for children in the country illegally."

The Hill, another inside-the-beltway favorite, gets it really wrong by claiming that the bill "would put the children of illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions on a path to citizenship." However, the DREAM Act does not have anything to do with the parent-child relationship. The only relevance is that if illegal aliens do have living parents, those parents – even if overseas – would also be put "on a path to citizenship" because of existing chain migration laws that allow legalized illegal aliens to bring in their extended family members.

Related Topics:

These media outlets – and many others – are full of writers who are either uninformed or willfully misleading the public. As far as the age requirement goes, under the DREAM Act an illegal alien simply must claim that he or she entered the United States sometime before reaching the age of 16; the standard of proof required by the government is unclear and it should raise concerns of fraud as most illegal aliens enter clandestinely and off the record. The only other age requirement is that an applicant must not have reached the age of 35 at the time of the bill's enactment. It is also unclear how the government will deal with fraud regarding this age requirement. Illegal aliens do not have U.S. birth certificates. Will DHS, the agency tasked with coming up with the regulations, require faxed copies of foreign birth certificates as evidence of age? If so, does this mean that the administrative accuracy of the DREAM Act will be dependent on the accuracy of bookkeeping in foreign nations (many of which have a vested interest in keeping their citizens permanently in the United States)?

These are but a few of the many questions the media isn't asking.

One more interesting fact about the age cut-off: Since the first version of the DREAM Act in 2001, the age threshold has been expanding, the goal being a larger and larger pool of potential beneficiaries. In the 2001 version, S. 1291, the applicant had to be younger than 21; in the 2007 version, S.2205, the applicant had to be younger than 30; and as noted earlier, the latest version of the DREAM Act allows applicants up to age 35. The version inserted in the 2007 amnesty bill, S.1348, had no age limit.

Depending on how a new version of the DREAM Act is written, it has the potential to immediately legalize millions and also result in the admission of millions more immigrants for years to come via chain migration.