The Dukes of DACA-land, or the Illegal Alien Hierarchy

By David North on April 18, 2018

A recent announcement from Brown University regarding its DACA students reminded me that all illegal aliens are not equal — in fact, they have a complex hierarchy of privileges that resembles the gradation of classes within the British nobility.

At an early age I understood that there were citizens and aliens; then I learned that some of the aliens were illegal and most (then) were legal; later I saw that the legal aliens could be divided into those here permanently and legally, and those whose legal presence was only temporary. Now it is clear to me that there are multiple shadings within the illegal alien community.

What Brown announced was that its graduating seniors holding DACA status were eligible for a "tuition-free, fifth-year Master's program" for illegal immigrant students in the event that the government finally does repeal DACA. The program would include a stipend for living expenses, plus health insurance. This set me to thinking about the various sub-classes among the illegals, with the DACA/Brown grad students playing the role of dukes in an illegal alien hierarchy that looks something like this:

Rankings within the British Nobility Rankings within the Illegal Alien Community in the U.S.
Duke DACA Master's students at Brown University, about to receive a no-cost graduate degree in a subsidized program
Marquess Illegal aliens in mixed families that are eligible for food stamps, when identical all-citizen families are not
Earl DACAs attending college tuition-free, no stipend
Viscount Illegal aliens attending college tuition-free, no stipend
Baron Aliens temporarily shielded from the normal processes, such as those in the DACA, TPS, and asylum applicant groupings; they can work legally, but there is no cash subsidy
Commoners Those subject to apprehension and deportation

Readers might differ with me about the second set of rankings; maybe the illegal alien categories for earls and marquesses (I had to look up the plural) should be reversed.

The release from Brown, the Ivy League university in Providence, R.I., struck me as odd because if looks like its creators think that if DACA were repealed an illegal alien, who happens to be taking a graduate course at Brown, would be immune from the workings of the law. Maybe the president of Brown knows as much about such things as the president of the United States. Maybe the press release was a feel-good gesture made without much thought.

While I am sure that someone who is gifted enough to graduate from Brown would easily be eligible for a Brown graduate program, and while stipends are routine for grad students in the better-funded universities, the DACA alien involved in the program might feel some discomfort in getting an MA in a single year, when most such degrees require two years.

And what would be the full title of the degree? Master of Arts in Subsidized Law Evasion (MA/SLE)?