June 15, 2012

The June 11 front-page article “A question of merit” didn’t tell the whole story about the Dream Act.

It’s true that when people don’t know the facts, the Dream Act has some appeal. After all, we are all naturally sympathetic when children are involved. But the descriptions of the Dream Act often voiced by its supporters are not accurate. And the consequences are never told.

Dream Act supporters claim that only children would benefit from such a bill, but the facts tell another story. Under most Dream Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals up to the age of 30 — not exactly children. Other proposals don’t even have an age limit.

The Dream Act also rewards the illegal immigrant parents who knowingly violated our laws. Once children become U.S. citizens, they can petition for their illegal immigrant parents and adult siblings to be legalized. Those adults will then bring in others in an endless chain, which only encourages more illegal immigration.

Dream Act proposals are also a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim that they came here as children or that they are under 30, and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true. The facts show that the Dream Act is riddled with loopholes.

Lamar Smith, Washington

The writer, a Texas Republican, is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.