Joe Guzzardi, 12/8/2010 [Archive]

The Dream Act - A Cynical Tool to Recruit Vulnerable Illegal Immigrants to the Military

The DREAM Act: A Cynical Tool

to Recruit Vulnerable Illegal Immigrants into the Military

By Joe Guzzardi

When you read the mainstream media or listen to Capitol Hill open border lobbyists, you'd believe that every alleged U.S. job shortage can only be solved with visas for foreign-born workers.

From Cape Cod, where restaurant owners clamor for employees to prepare lobster rolls to 3,000 miles away in the Silicon Valley where a 'tech worker shortage' has Bill Gates demanding more software engineers, the solution proposed by elites is always more visas.

The truth is different. Summer resort jobs have long been the most desirable for college kids. And the Information Technology industry has a glut of unemployed American Ph.D.'s

Now, some in Congress urge passing the DREAM Act because, among other misleading reasons, the United States cannot persuade young people to fill its all-volunteer military force.

Under the erroneous theory that not enough Americans of age are willing to sign up, DREAM Act promoters offer to trade with illegal aliens a path to citizenship in exchange for a stint in the military.

Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, a DREAM Act champion, to the Army Times: "Largely due to the war in Iraq, the Army is struggling to meet its recruitment goals. Under the DREAM Act, tens of thousands of well-qualified potential recruits would become eligible for military service for the first time. They are eager to serve in the armed forces during a time of war."

This is political cynicism at its worst. Regardless of how the DREAM Act fares in Congress, the harsh reality is that thousands of poor illegal aliens who, even though they may have high school diplomas, will not be accepted into college. With the citizenship via the military option, those are the most likely who might, out of shear desperation, enlist.

Simply put, the DREAM Act allows the United States to prey on society's most vulnerable.

Here are a few things Durbin prefers that his illegal immigrant target audience doesn't know. The military is dramatically different from any previous job young immigrants may have held. Once signed up, you can't quit. In fact, you can be put in jail for showing up late---unlikely but legal under Section 86 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

If you press your luck and behave in a manner that leads to your dismissal, that's called a 'discharge'—most likely a 'bad conduct discharge'—that will haunt you for the rest of your personal and professional life.

Did your high school teacher bug you when he insisted that you don't talk in class and turn your assignments in on time? Good luck.

In the military someone always ranks above you. Get used to following his orders—what you may call 'telling you what to do'—because, unlike your teacher who had less leverage, your superior officer can and will make your life miserable.

Some other glaring flaws in Durbin's DREAM Act logic include ignoring the fundamental supply and demand law. With a sour economy and relentless 10 percent unemployment, suddenly the military seems more attractive to a host of graduates who a few years ago would not have considered it.

U.S. casualties are down in Iraq and Afghanistan so the reduced combat risk combined with the lure of a stable income that includes housing, food and health care as well as and the new post-9/11 G.I. Bill is suddenly attractive to a wider audience.

Unlike Senator Durbin, even the Army realizes that its potential market is greater than three years ago.

The Army's promotions include a patriotic theme that emphasizes service to one's country. As one ad goes: 'When your country calls, you go. Proudly.'

The country referred to is America and the ad is directed at Americans.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues - since 1990. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. He can be reached at

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