The Corner

Piecemeal Amnesty, Cont’d

Following up on my post Wednesday about debate inside the amnesty cabal about whether to abandon the comprehensive approach (pushing amnesty for all illegals) and try to push smaller, targeted amnesties: Yesterday afternoon, Frank Sharry, one of the chief pro-amnesty activists, published an “Open Letter to DREAM Activists.” It was a defensive-sounding note, trying to give the false impression that his group had always been in favor of moving the Dream Act amnesty (for kids who’ve grown up here after being brought illegally by their parents before age 16) through Congress on its own. The comments give a sense of the bitterness of the disagreement, including a link to this report claiming that Chuck Schumer met with Dream Act supporters yesterday: “Immigrant youth and their allies were told by Senator Chuck Schumer that he was told by the leadership of Reform Immigration For America not to move forward with the DREAM Act.” Apparently, Schumer met with the DC-based amnesty lobbyists last week: “At that meeting, Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change, and representatives of the Catholic church stated that they did not want Senator Schumer to move forward with the DREAM Act.”

This kind of dissension on the other side is obviously an opportunity for schadenfreude, and I can’t claim to be immune to the temptation. But there’s a political opportunity here as well: A hawkish congressman has an opening to introduce legislation that includes a tightened-up version of the Dream Act (it’s obviously full of loopholes) combined with mandatory use of E-Verify (to limit opportunities for future kids to be put in this situation) plus an end to chain migration (the kids didn’t break the law by coming here because they were underage, but none of those adults who did break the law should be allowed to benefit). Such a bill (which may already be in the works, for all I know) would be instructive — those genuinely concerned about this most-sympathetic group of illegals could support it, while those amnesty-supporters opposing it would be exposed as interested in these kids merely as props for tear-jerker news coverage designed to make the case for a mass amnesty.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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