Thoughts about the Lame Duck effort to enact the DREAM Act

I have, as I expect you know, written a number of commentaries and participated in a number of televised debates on the issue of what is expected to be the efforts of the “Lame Duck” session of Congress to ram the DREAM Act through the legislative process. I hate to be repetitive and I know that I have already written a few commentaries about my great concerns about the DREAM Act but this issue is so important that I feel compelled to write this commentary today.

There are members of Congress who are, at this very moment, moving at warp speed to make a last-ditch effort to enact this legislative betrayal and must hear from We the People today!

Before I make note of the ways that the open borders/pro-amnesty advocates in the administration and in the Congress are attempting to deceive and betray the citizens and lawful immigrants of our nation, I want you to consider just how much chutzpah the “leaders” in our government are demonstrating.

“Chutzpah,” as you probably know, is a Yiddish term that can be translated to mean gall, nerve or other such term. However, chutzpah possesses a particular inherent definition that is, at least to me, incomparable! The traditional example of a person who demonstrates real chutzpah is the young man who kills both parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court claiming he is an orphan!

The advocates in the Congress and in the administration who are now attempting to seize their last opportunity during the “Lame Duck” session of Congress are, in my judgment demonstrating a level of chutzpah that eclipses that young (orphaned) murderer!

There have been ever so many attempts by members of Congress to ram “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” down the throats of the citizens of our nation. I have testified at a number of Congressional hearings about these efforts.

Many of the members of Congress who would vote in favor of the DREAM Act have been voted out of office this past Election Day- they were fired!

Stop and consider this.

When the average American worker is fired, whether for cause or not, they are often notified about their firing on the day that they are terminated. Often management has a supervisor or perhaps even an armed guard escort the employee to his (her) desk to remove their personal effects and make certain that they do not take anything that is not theirs. They are generally immediately escorted off the company’s premises to make certain that they don’t do any damage or commit any sabotage in anger.

Now there are members of Congress who will not be coming back to work in January. They were sent packing by their fed up constituents and yet, they have not relinquished their power.

Lame Duck sessions are problematic for a number of reasons but it is the way that our system works. Certainly it would be appropriate for a Lame Duck session to clean up last minute spending bills and make certain that there is continuity in our government’s operation- but to think that an administration and members of Congress would seize the opportunity to accomplish something that is as controversial as the DREAM Act when they know- indeed, because they know, that this flies in the face of those they were sworn to represent is a betrayal of the citizens of the United States on a galactic scale!

In July 2006 I was called to testify before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Here is a link to a video of a portion of that hearing at which I testified (my comments regarding my opposition to that legislative disaster back then are every bit as relevant today):

About three years ago I wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Times entitled, Immigration bill a “No go.”

Here is a link to my Op-Ed:

The members of Congress who won re-election who will be participating in the Lame Duck session and possibly voting on the DREAM Act need to be reminded by their constituents that they will also face their own day of reckoning in just two short years in the House of Representatives and that about one third of the members of the Senate will also be facing their constituents in two short years!

I will provide you with a couple of other points that I have made note of in the past but believe are important for you to consider and, perhaps, articulate for your elected representatives.

As I have noted in my appearances and in my commentaries, the DREAM Act has been concocted to take advantage of the generosity and compassion of the citizens of the United States- claiming (falsely) that this bill would simply provide young immigrants whose presence in the United States is the result of decisions made by their parents who brought these “young immigrants” with them when they ran our nation’s borders.

While we consider the acronym “DREAM” I will again remind you that aliens as old as 34 would be able to participate in this program. In what parallel universe would someone who is 34 or even 30 years of age considered a “Minor?”

I have to admit that now that I am on the wrong side of 60, someone who is in their 30’s does sound young to me- but to refer to people of that age as being a minor or even “young” is an absolute absurdity!

What is also amazing is that the advocates for this stealth amnesty program that would likely legalize millions of illegal aliens, even reversed their usual position of decrying the use of the term “Alien.”

While the term “Alien” is certainly not the pejorative that the open borders/pro-amnesty advocates claim it is, the term does present them with a vexing problem The term “Alien” provides clarity to the debate about various aspects of the immigration issue and they certainly understand that the law, facts, commonsense and morality are all working against their goals. They know that the last thing they want is to have to debate the immigration issues on the basis of the law, the facts, commonsense or morality.

While they have claimed that there are millions of illegal aliens “hiding in the shadows,” in point of fact, the illegal aliens are not hiding in the shadows but the advocates for open borders and amnesty have been attempting to hide the truth from the citizens of the United States by hiding the truth in the linguistic shadows that they have created.

This strategy of the use of deceptive language was first utilized by Jimmy Carter when, as President of the United States, he mandated that INS employees stop referring to illegal aliens as being, illegal aliens! We were instructed to refer to aliens who were illegally present in the United States as being “Undocumented Workers.” We were told that if we, the employees of the INS, continued to use the term “illegal alien” to describe illegal aliens, extreme efforts would be taken to discipline us. Of course this did not sit well with the great majority of INS employees back then and I decided to find a way of bending the demands laid down by the INS. I took to referring to illegal aliens as being “Pre-Citizens!”

This actually caught on and I was greatly amused and, indeed, encouraged when a Border Patrol agent called my office one day seeking to get information on an individual he had arrested along the Mexican border. The alien’s file was in New York City, where I worked. I answered the phone and this Border Patrol agent asked me if I could get hold of the immigration file relating to the “Pre-Citizen’s” he had just arrested!

It should be known that the term “Alien” is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as simply being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States.

You can find this definition and the definition of all of the other essential terms at this link to Section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

Virtually every other country on this planet uses similar language to describe foreign nationals who are present within their borders. I defy anyone to tell me how the term “alien” dehumanizes or insults anyone. The open borders/pro-amnesty advocates would much prefer that we refer to illegal aliens as simply being “immigrants.” This term provides them with the opportunity to repeat the mantra that “We are a nation of immigrants!” By extension, they then claim that anyone who would secure our borders against the entry of anyone could then be accused of being “Anti-Immigrant!”

Here is my way of providing clarity to this argument:

The difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar!

Having just provided you with the artful use of deceptive language that has all but stricken the word “alien” from the immigration debate, we suddenly find that the desire by the advocates for open borders and massive amnesty programs for illegal aliens to conjure up the image of the “American Dream” that they are now, incredibly willing to use the term alien!

As I noted in a recent commentary, the DREAM Act is an acronym for:

Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

In furtherance of this attempt to see in our nation’s kindness, weakness was so strong that they were even willing to use a term that they have been adamantly eschewing for decades- “Alien.” This was obviously done to equate amnesty for millions of illegal aliens with the “American Dream,” a dream I might add, that has become increasingly elusive for all too many of our citizens regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or other such factors!

If our nation provides lawful status for millions of illegal aliens, it must be anticipated that they will immediately seek to petition the United States government to permit their spouses and minor children to be permitted to lawfully immigrate to the United States. This will create additional burdens on the health care systems and on our educational system. Both of these vital systems are already imploding under the weight of the demands being made upon them especially as cities and states lay off or fire teachers, police officers, fire fighters, hospital workers and other municipal workers as cities and states teeter on insolvency.

I can also tell you that in 1986 I had a front row seat to the aftermath of the Amnesty of 1986. Many newly legalized aliens did what you would expect. They went to their employers who hired them when they were illegal aliens and therefore vulnerable and easy to exploit.

These newly legalized employees demanded to be paid prevailing wages. They demanded to be paid appropriately for working overtime and working on weekends. They demanded that they be paid on the books and that safety and health issues be addressed by the employers.

Some employers simply complied by a large number did not. They fired these newly legalized employees and simply hired the next wave of illegal aliens- this is a significant part of the way that we wound up with so many illegal aliens in our country today.

It must now be anticipated that history will repeat itself. It must be anticipated that if massive numbers of illegal aliens are legalized under the auspices of an amnesty program, that unscrupulous employers will fire these aliens and simply hire more illegal aliens. Meanwhile the newly unemployed but legalized aliens will head for the unemployment line. They will seek all sorts of benefits to provide for their spouses and children for whom they would have made applications to have them join them in the United States.

How will our nation cope with this massive expense even as cities, states and, indeed, the federal government attempt to deal with the economic crisis that confronts our nation today?

How can any true leader ignore that fact that according to most estimates, one in five children in the United States is not getting proper nutrition and an estimated one in five American families are living at or below the poverty level?

It may be commonsense but it is important to remember- “Charity begins at home!”

When we board airliners and the flight attendants go through the usual talk about the use of seat belts, exits, floatation devices and oxygen masks they always admonish the passengers to not try to help passengers near them if the oxygen masks are deployed until they put their own oxygen masks on first. (You cannot help anyone if you become incapacitated!)

Today the United States of America needs to put its own oxygen mask on first! A weakened America poses a threat to the safety and security of the entire free world!

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to far too many politicians. I implore you to get involved!

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

If our nation’s continuing failures to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

Border security and the creation of an immigration system that possesses real integrity are neither a “Conservative” issues, nor “Liberal” issues- simply stated, these are most certainly AMERICAN issues!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the ‘911 Families for a Secure America.’ He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.