The “Dream Act” is a Politician’s Dream

The entire “debate” over immigration in the United States is one big evasion.

What’s being evaded? For one thing, the United States is the most valuable place on earth to live because it has been the most productive. It has been the most productive because it has been the most free. Advocates of immigration “reform” operate on the assumption that America always was, always had to be and always will be a desirable place, regardless of the caliber of people living here or the degree of freedom and capitalism they enjoy. Not true. In order for a country to be a desirable place to live, and for millions to want to immigrate there, that country must be rich. A rich country implies a capitalist system — something the United States is decisively moving away from — and a country full of productive people. As the United States becomes less of a free society and more of a permanent welfare state (with unemployment benefits now extending as far as the eye can see), it’s reasonable to assume it won’t be such a productive and desirable place in the future.

Having a debate over immigration as the United States phases out freedom and capitalism would be like deciding which carpet to select, or which color to paint the living room, while the house is on fire. Instead of calling the fire department to put out the fire, American politicians are doing the equivalent of redecorating a house that is about to burn down.

And let’s face it: The “Dream Act” being proposed by liberal socialists is nothing more than immediate citizenship for people expected to vote for … more socialism and redistributive welfare. I’m not suggesting that all, or even most immigrants, are moochers.

What I am stating openly is that a welfare state attracts that type, and brings out those worst characteristics in people. A free and capitalist country, on the other hand, requires people to be their best, stand on their own two feet, and never rely on charity unless it’s voluntarily contributed, not distributed as a massive entitlement through a greedy and indiscriminate federal bureaucracy. The “Dream Act” is not designed to fulfill the dreams of productive individualists, the type of immigrants who founded the United States; it’s designed to fulfill the dreams of politicians to have an unending constituency of welfare dependents who will vote for more and more Big Government.

Put simply, immigration would not need “reform” if the United States first reformed itself. The way for the United States to reform itself is to move back towards freedom whereby everyone is expected, and required, to earn his own living. The first American immigrants did not come to a nation with “free” education, “free” health care, “free” retirement benefits, “free” roads, “free” mortgage subsidies, or “free” anything else. They were left alone to make their own way, and to create their own lives for themselves. That’s not the United States we know today. In exponentially increasing degrees, the United States government spreads the wealth around to favored political groups. The Dream Act is not a favor for immigrants, especially the best kind of individualists and self-responsible souls who, no doubt, are still attracted to this country. The Dream Act is a favor for Big Government, not because of the bill itself, but because its very presence in Congress implies an evasion that the American system upon which immigrants are depending is in very, very serious trouble.

Opponents of the Dream Act, and liberal socialist immigration policies more generally, don’t make any of the arguments I’m making here. Instead they focus on the “legality” or “illegality” of immigrants. They fixate on legalistic technicalities. For example, Dream Act opponent Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama says: “This bill simply ‘incentivizes’ and rewards more illegality. And, if it passes, what principle would lawmakers cite to object to another amnesty, for another group, and another one after that?” The answer is simple: Liberal socialists expect to always be in charge, and they’ll simply grant amnesty to those groups they deem as most likely to vote for them, and refuse amnesty to those they deem as political opponents. Liberal socialists have a wonderful long-term strategy, and recent elections aside, it’s still working for them: Make as many Americans (including big corporations) as dependent as possible on government handouts and subsidies, and they will be ruled forever. This is nothing new, and nothing different from what all dictators throughout human history have done. What makes America different is that large numbers of people think it can’t happen here, even though it is happening before our very eyes.

Instead of making legalistic arguments, even valid ones, opponents of the Dream Act should argue on moral principle. “Let’s make America a free country again, balance our budget, restrain or end most of the spending, and then we’ll talk liberalizing immigration. Let’s make sure that we attract the best kind of immigrants, not ones who want something for nothing.” Of course, most politicians who agree with this are afraid to say so aloud. Unfortunately, fear and moral cowardice kill the best within the human spirit. They kill great societies, as well.

It’s not a tribute to the United States that immigrants still want to come here. It’s only a reflection of the fact that as dysfunctional as the USA has become, the rest of the world is even more so. So many other countries are so entrenched in decades or centuries of rotten socialism, authoritarian welfare statism or even totalitarianism that of course the United States still looks much better by comparison. I’d venture a guess that what inspires the more idealistic of the immigrants is the United States of the past, not the entitlement-crazed place that it has become.

Left free and held to the standard of rationality, human beings are capable of almost anything. Coddled and controlled by a growing world welfare state is the worst thing that can happen — to immigrants and Americans born here. The solution is not to reform immigration. It’s to fundamentally reverse course, and replace socialism and “spread the wealthism” with capitalism and freedom. Let’s make America worthy of the best immigrants out there. And let’s attract the immigrants worthy of what America once was, and can be again.