As the Senate approaches the witching hour when the government shuts down thanks to the Democrats’ refusal to vote for the continuing resolution that would keep it open, USA Today is reporting that the actual number of DREAMers is closer to 3.6 million than the 800,000 estimate previously asserted.
The source of this information, according to USA Today immigration reporter Alan Gomez, is the Migration Policy Institute, “a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that studies global immigration patterns.”
The paper, which is intensely pro-DACA, sets this bombshell in the context not of its $26 billion cost to taxpayers over the next ten years but of the “number of people whose lives risk being uprooted”:
That number … is not widely known, in large part because so much public attention has been focused recently on 800,000 mostly young DREAMers accepted into the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This smaller group of DREAMers is in the spotlight because President Trump terminated DACA in September, saying it was an illegal overreach of executive authority that can only come from Congress, which is negotiating with Trump on a compromise immigration plan.
While many politicians use DREAMer and DACA interchangeably, the terms are “not a distinction without a difference,” said House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Better to know sooner than later the scope of the population of illegal immigrants for whom the Democrats are willing to let the active military go without pay.
This should change the calculus for future negotiations between the Trump administration and Democratic lawmakers, who have been dishonest from the get-go on why they are so bullish on DACA (a leaked memo from a former Hillary aide admits that the DREAMers “critical” to the Dems’ “future electoral success”).
The Democrats have also been duplicitous on what these immigrants bring to the table. One of their claims — that the DREAMers will somehow be a boon to the economy — has been challenged by Roberto Gonzales of Harvard University, an expert on immigration, who notes that 73% of DACA recipients live in low-income housing and reap welfare benefits from taxpayers. Only 4% complete college, and 24% are “below basic” or “functionally illiterate.”
Knowing that amnesty for DACA recipients amounts in effect to growing the underclass by larger than previously forecast numbers should be motivation enough for Senate Republicans to walk away from the bargaining table and let the chips fall where they may.