Millions of illegal aliens queued up across the country on Wednesday, August 15, to get papers to stay in the country.
The illegals, almost all of them from either Mexico or other Hispanic nations, got into line to apply for President Obama’s “youth amnesty.” That policy, announced in June, essentially established the DREAM Act as federal law by executive decree, even though the act failed in the Senate in December 2010.
Although Obama set out a list of DREAM-like criteria for “young” illegals, the day before the amnesty began the administration began loosening the rules so that they applied to just about any young and illegal immigrant.
Lines a Mile Long
Across the country, the New York Times reported, lines of illegals as long as a mile snaked out of churches and the offices of lawyers and immigration activists who were helping the illegals.
At the Navy Pier in Chicago, the Times observed, “by midmorning Wednesday, the line wound down the long pier, through a park and along an expressway, with young people holding sheafs of documents that they hoped would prove that they qualified for the program.” The paper continued,
By noon, event organizers said, 11,500 people had attended briefings, and more than 2,000 people had been turned away because there was not enough time or staff to deal with them. …
Thousands of immigrants also waited in lines outside the offices of immigrants’ groups and flooded churches and law offices in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Boston and Houston, among other cities.
Leftist Sen. David Durbin (D-Ill.), author of the border-erasing DREAM Act, explained that the movement to legalize illegal immigrants is now unstoppable. Describing the senator as “elated,” the Times quoted him as declaring, “You can’t stop this force. This is a force of people who have grown up in this country and want to be part of its future. They are creating a moral force beyond a legal force.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, it was the same around the country: “Students holding electric bills, transcripts and class schedules lined the walls, filled the seats and sat in the aisles of the main auditorium at Union County College in Elizabeth, N.J. Lines formed in Washington, D.C., before 7 a.m. In Houston, lines for the Mexican Consulate stretched into downtown streets, creating traffic jams.”
The Los AngelesTimes — in the city which is the epicenter of illegal immigration and illegal-alien gang crime — told the story of Alan Valdivia, who sought help procuring an amnesty from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights:
In Los Angeles, people cradled babies, ordered pizza, ate chili-sprinkled mango and took shelter from scorching heat under jumbo-sized umbrellas along West 3rd Street in Westlake.
“This is a family affair,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a coalition spokesman. “Grandmas come, children come, fathers come.”
Valdivia, the student, had brought his immunization record, but the volunteer helping him with his application wanted specifics he could not possibly remember.
He pulled out his BlackBerry and dialed. “Hey dad, do you remember how old I was when I got here?” he asked.
Four years old, maybe 5, his dad speculated.
“This is hard,” Valdivia said after hanging up.
Illegals such as Valdivia, and those “grandmas” and “fathers,” worry two Republican U.S. legislators. As The New American reported on Thursday, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in early August to ask how her agency would prevent fraud. The two legislators stated,
These illegal workers will compete for scarce jobs in difficult economic times with Americans who need to provide for their families.
The Department has indicated that it may also grant relief to illegal immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. illegally. These parents will not be penalized for breaking the law when helping their illegal immigrant children apply for this new immigration benefit, and in turn, may also be allowed to work and compete with unemployed Americans.
The two Republicans also described in detail how illegals easily worked their way around the rules for the Reagan administration’s failed amnesty in 1986. “This administration will undoubtedly preside over one of the most fraud-ridden immigration programs in our history," Smith and Grassley declared, adding,
Illegal immigrants will be eager to purchase or create fake documents showing that they arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and meet the continued physical presence requirements. DHS will be sorely taxed by the burden of disproving the evidence presented in each application. According to the Commission on Agricultural Workers, such fraud was prevalent during the 1986 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty, where up to two-thirds of the amnesty applications for illegal immigrant “farmworkers” were fraudulent.
Thousands of illegals will craft false documents and lie about their status to get the amnesty. And many others who receive amnesty won’t quite fit Obama’s idyllic picture of young illegal immigrants.
According to The Daily Caller, the amnesty applies to middle- and high-school dropouts. “Administration officials confirmed on Tuesday that they have expanded the White House immigration policy for younger illegals to include low-skill immigrants who have not completed middle school or high school,” The DC reported, adding,
The shift adds roughly 350,000 low-skill immigrants to the Department of Homeland Security policy, which was initially portrayed as including only 800,000 people under the age of 31 when it was announced by President Barack Obama in a Rose Garden statement on June 15.
As The DC noted, this unskilled, uneducated cohort does not comport with the president’s description of who would get amnesty. Obama portrayed the teeming mass of illegals as a burgeoning crop of young men and women who need only the water of help and understanding — and an amnesty — to bloom fully into successful business and professional citizens.
“These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag,” Obama said just weeks before an “American” Olympian, who came to the United States as an illegal, carried the flag of Mexico upon his victory in London.
They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life — studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.
The DC noted that the administration is not calling this amnesty an amnesty, but instead a “consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.”
Yet the news of these 350,000 illegals is nothing compared to what Americans learned early this week.
The number of illegal immigrants expected to seek the amnesty was 800,000 when Obama announced it in June. Now the number is 1.7 million.
At $465 for the application fee, the amnesty is a dirt-cheap bargain.
According to the New York Times, “the work permit young immigrants can receive with the deferral opens many doors that have been firmly shut. They can obtain valid Social Security numbers and apply for driver’s licenses, professional certificates and financial aid for college.”
Photo of young illegal immigrants at Navy Pier in Chicago: AP Images