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Public Statements

Senate Rejects Democrat Amnesty Bill

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Senate Rejects Democrat Amnesty Bill

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after the Senate voted 52-44 to reject the DREAM Act, which needed 60 votes to proceed for consideration. The DREAM Act would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants including some with criminal records. Furthermore, it gives illegal immigrants lower college tuition rates than many American citizens, and contains numerous loopholes that will allow fraud and abuse.

"America has clearly rejected amnesty but Democrats have obviously refused to listen," said Senator DeMint. "This is a clarifying moment in the immigration debate: Republicans have heard Americans' desire for border security and interior enforcement first, while Democrats have decided to fully embrace amnesty with no concern for national security. This bill doesn't contain a single provision to improve border security, not a single provision to improve interior enforcement and not a single provision to fix the broken legal immigration system. Instead it will allow illegal immigrants, some with criminal records, to receive amnesty and discriminate against American citizens competing for college admission. We will never solve our immigration problems by rewarding illegal behavior, we must first prove to America we are serious about securing the border and enforcing our laws."

"Our government's failure to enforce its immigration laws has created many tragic circumstances for children and families, but the solution is not more of the same. We must have border security, enforce our laws and create a legal immigration system that works. Only after we have restored the confidence of the American people can we begin to solve the problems associated with those here illegally."

The Democrats' DREAM Act would create a massive amnesty and it includes no security or enforcement provisions by opening a wide path to citizenship for any alien who entered the country before the age of 16, has been in the country for at least five years, and has earned a high school diploma or a GED in the U.S. Illegal immigrants granted amnesty under the DREAM Act would have the legal right to claim legal status for family members - meaning their parents and adult siblings who sent them or brought them illegally to the U.S. would be rewarded with amnesty for their actions.

Additionally, the DREAM Act has no filing deadlines, would grant amnesty to certain "criminal aliens" - including those with DUI records and those permanently barred from obtaining U.S. citizenship any other way, and does not require the completion of a degree of any kind in return for amnesty.

The bill provides a loophole through which states would be able to offer in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants and exclude legal U.S. citizens from having the same privilege. It would also force U.S. citizens to compete with illegal immigrants not only for limited seats in colleges and universities throughout the country but also for financial aid through student loans.

The bill only requires two years of "uniform service," which means illegal immigrants could work for the Public Health Service or other government agencies and still be awarded citizenship. Also, the bill contains a loophole allowing illegal immigrant applicants to have this requirement completely waived if they can prove leaving the country would result in "hardship."

Finally, according to the non-profit Heritage Foundation, the DREAM Act would "place no limits on when individuals could apply or the number of persons who could apply. This would leave the program open to widespread abuse and rampant fraud."


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