Thursday, December 9, 2010

Westmoreland Opposed Passage of Amnesty Bill

This week, the House passed the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act is intended to grant residency status to those illegal immigrants who have been within United States borders illegally for the past 5 years upon their enrollment in an institution of higher education or enlistment within our military. Congressman Westmoreland opposed this legislation.

“This legislation creates a huge loophole that circumvents our immigration laws, allowing millions of illegal immigrants to be granted legal status in the United States,” said Westmoreland. “So basically, the DREAM Act is an amnesty bill disguised as education legislation.”

Beyond granting amnesty, the language of the DREAM Act goes further by providing subsidized education costs for those illegal immigrants who qualify under the program. Even more disturbing, the DREAM Act allows certain deportable criminals to stay within U.S. borders if it is determined that their deportation will cause what is defined as a “hardship” under the Act.

“While I agree that some serious changes within our immigration laws are needed, creating back door amnesty programs is simply not the way,” stated Westmoreland. “I believe that everyone should deserve an opportunity in this country, but while American citizens under the age of 35 are suffering through a 14.5 percent unemployment rate, we need to be taking steps to protect employment opportunities for them – not adding millions of new legal residents to compete for jobs with them.”

The United States already has an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living within its borders. Creating a program that incentivizes illegal immigration with legal resident status and subsidized tuition at our country’s top schools of higher learning will most likely only increase that number. The DREAM Act still must pass in the Senate and be signed by President Obama before it becomes law.

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