Angle Attacks Reid on DREAM Act
Sharron Angle, the Republican opponent to Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada, released an ad today bashing Reid’s support for “preferred college tuition rates” for illegal immigrants, a reference to his support for the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow some undocumented students and military service members to gain legal status.
The DREAM Act would allow states to provide in-state tuition to undocumented students by repealing a 1996 ban on benefits for illegal immigrants. It’s a controversial move, but one some states have already bypassed: Ten states have passed their own laws allowing illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition if they have attended high school in the state for at least three years.
Nevada, for the record, does not provide in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
Here’s the ad:
The argument that the DREAM Act allows non-natives to take up space and resources in public universities was also used by California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R), who said this weekend the DREAM Act would “favor undocumenteds” over citizens.
The question is whether “favor” or “preferred” is an accurate term for what the DREAM Act would allow. While the bill would repeal the section of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act that bans tuition benefits for undocumented students, it would not require states to adopt such standards. It would simply remove the legal obstacles for those that have already chosen to do so: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington. Other states would then be free to determine for themselves whether to offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
While DREAM Act supporters say this would simply help U.S.-educated students attend college, conservatives argue the DREAM Act created an incentive for illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and would hurt chances for citizens to get financial aid. Michelle Malkin made this case in September:
Open-borders lawmakers have tried and failed to pass the DREAM Act through regular channels for the past decade. That’s because informed voters know giving green cards to illegal alien students undermines the rule of law, creates more illegal immigration incentives and grants preferential treatment to illegal alien students over law-abiding native and naturalized American students struggling to get an education in tough economic times.
Right now, the DREAM Act is stalled in Senate after an unsuccessful attempt to attach it to the defense authorization bill. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has promised to push for the bill during the lame duck session.