To VSG: Oppose the DREAM Act

September 14, 2010 on 4:06 pm | In Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Vanderbilt Student Government will be considering a resolution tomorrow to urge the university to endorse the DREAM Act, a bill before the U.S. Congress, which does nothing but undermine the rule of law and essentially grants amnesty to illegal immigrants. I am not disputing that advocates of the DREAM Act have good intentions and truly want to help the children of illegal aliens, and I commend their passion; however, I strongly disagree that this is prudent.

First, VSG has no business in endorsing such legislation. Although VSG has a role in advising the university administration on policy, it ought not to take a role in such overtly political matters. Similarly, the various organizations endorsing this resolution receive AcFee funding; the statutes for the Student Finance Committee read: “Funds allocated by the Student Finance Committee are subject to some restrictions on the use of those funds…in general… The Student Finance Committee will discourage…requests to fund…political activity.” Now, while some may argue that the support of a handful of Republican lawmakers makes the act “bipartisan,” it is difficult to argue that advocating for the passage of this legislation does not qualify as “political activity.” Perhaps those organizations supporting this resolution currently qualifying for AcFee ought to be stripped of it next year.

The present VSG resolution is full of misleading facts. In the fifth clause, it only claims to grant illegal immigrants “temporary legal status.” While it is true that initially the legislation would grant them conditional permanent resident status, it provides the illegal aliens an unencumbered path to permanent legal status—full citizenship. That is nothing but a thinly-veiled attempt at amnesty.

Perhaps my main concern with this resolution is that it claims that the DREAM Act “has no negative implications, financial or otherwise.” This is UTTERLY UNTRUE. The DREAM Act will repeal the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996—this means that, if passed, this legislation would allow states to grant illegal aliens in-state tuition, while denying the same benefits to lawful citizens from another state. For example, if a lawful citizen in Tennessee wishes to attend the University of Virginia, he/she will pay significantly more than an illegal alien attending the same university. Please explain the rationality behind that. Also, this would enable illegal aliens to qualify for federal student loans and the work-study program. Please, please, please, whoever authored the VSG resolution explain to me how this will have no negative financial implications. As taxpayers, this greatly impacts us all.

Finally, we simply cannot afford this piece of legislation. We are already indebted with trillions of dollars. The last thing we need is to subsidize another 65,000 illegal aliens’ tuitions—that will do nothing but increase our taxes and tuition costs.

I strongly urge all of our VSG elected officials to oppose this resolution. To those senators or representatives who fear opposing this will be politically unpopular: Consider the student body’s political demographics—I assure you, supporting it is political suicide. I urge opposition based not solely on the merit of the legislation, but also because VSG has no basis in supporting such political measure.

Stephen Siao
President, Vanderbilt College Republicans