The education/military "requirement" of the DREAM Scheme has been strongly emphasized by the White House as it seeks to persuade America of the benefits of this amnesty program for some one million illegal aliens.
Yet, when you examine the fine print you will find that:
- An alien can qualify without ever having spent a day in a school of any kind; or a minute in the Armed Forces, and
- The program offers absolutely nothing to the tiny handful of illegal aliens with honorable discharges from the military, because this little group is nicely, and I think appropriately, covered by more generous provisions in the current law.
In short, both the education and the military provisions of the program are red-white-and-blue fig leaves designed (to mix a metaphor) to help the bitter taste of an executive-created amnesty go down smoothly with the general public.
The text of the DHS announcement of the program's rules states, in part:
You may [be eligible] . . . for childhood arrivals if you
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States …
The implication is that everyone to be amnestied is, or has been, a student or a veteran and who could be opposed to that? Let's take those two concepts in turn.
Students. While there will be tens of thousands of genuine high school graduates in the deferred action program, plus some college grads, there is no minimum requirement that the applicant has had any education at all, or is literate in either English or some other language. None.
As USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas made clear in a recent USCIS presentation, and as we reported earlier, an applicant may meet the military/education requirement by being enrolled in an educational institution on the date that the alien applies for amnesty. Not the date that the program was announced, June 15, 2012, but the date that the illegal gets around to applying for deferred action.
Does that illegal alien need to stay in school after deferred action is granted, at least until a high school diploma has been secured? There is nothing in the rules that suggests such a requirement.
Veterans. As we noted in another, earlier blog the military tries hard not to accept illegal aliens in its recruitment. If it fails to screen an illegal alien out, and if the alien manages later to secure an honorable discharge, then naturalization is available to that person under existing law.
Why would a veteran opt for delayed deportation when he or she could get full citizenship?
The provision is not designed to help veterans, but to help the administration sell the program to a public that is unlikely to read the fine print of the "childhood arrivals" amnesty.
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