Today Is A-Day
The president’s unconstitutional DREAM amnesty gets rolling.


Mark Krikorian

The estimated number of beneficiaries has been steadily climbing, even before today’s start date for applications. Boosters of the DREAM Act originally said it was just for the 60,000 promising young illegal aliens who graduated from high school each year — conveniently ignoring the accumulation of each year’s total. The estimate grew to 800,000, then 1.4 million, and then 1.75 million, and it could be as high as 2 million.

And those are estimates only of the legitimately eligible. There’s likely to be a huge amount of fraud, given the hurried, last-minute nature of the program and the political pressure on the bureaucracy to approve as many applications as possible. Just one example: There will be virtually no interviews of DACA amnesty applicants, because the entire process will be based on mail-in paper applications. This is necessary because to do otherwise would be expensive and slow, and the White House’s goal here is to amnesty as many illegal aliens as physically possible as quickly and cheaply as possible. Unfortunately, the lack of interviews means the requirement that applicants be no older than 30 is rendered almost meaningless, since 55-year-olds with the right fake documents can just claim to be 29, and no adjudicator will be able to see otherwise.

In the end, of course, today’s amnesty is a purely political move. According to a report I received second-hand, but which sounds eminently plausible, White House insiders were so frightened by the drop in Hispanic voter registration that they concluded a dramatic, attention-getting stroke was needed — regardless of its impact on the constitutional order and regardless of the president’s earlier statements ruling it out. Apparently, what happens after November 6 doesn’t matter — even if this move establishes a precedent that would allow, say, a President Romney to abolish the capital-gains tax by executive fiat.

Democrats in Congress, whose constitutional prerogatives are being trashed by the White House, have applauded this usurpation because it gives them a victory they couldn’t achieve through lawful means. They will eventually have to decide whether the legislative branch has a role in making law or whether, as Gibbon noted of the Roman Senate in his Decline and Fall, our Congress is nothing but a “a venerable but useless monument of antiquity on the Capitoline hill.”

— Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.