Matt Lewis

In defense of Rubio’s DREAM

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

Over at HotAir, a Tina Korbe post about Marco Rubio’s DREAM act (this is what it has unofficially been labeled) has elicited predictably negative reader comments.

The post specifically asks whether or not Rubio’s DREAM could help the GOP win Latinos. This, of course, is a fair and obvious question for political analysts to debate, but I doubt that was on the top of Rubio’s mind. At least, I hope it wasn’t. What we ought to instead be asking is whether this is good policy, and (based on the framework I’ve seen — the bill hasn’t actually been written yet) I believe it is.

It seems absurd for a society to deport otherwise law-abiding young people who want to go to college. It seems especially dumb to deport able-bodied men and women who want to help fight our wars. And the notion that young people should be sent back home seems to be a deal-breaker (were I one of these kids, I would assume that I would never be allowed to return — regardless of what the bureaucrats promised me.)

At the same time, Rubio’s DREAM prohibits these young people from skipping to the head of the citizenship line. People who have contributed to society and want to go to college or join the military are granted legal status, but not automatic citizenship. (They can eventually be granted citizenship, but they have to wait their turn.)

To be sure, this will not solve America’s immigration problem. It’s not meant to. It’s meant to solve a very specific problem regarding what to do with young people who were brought here illegally, through no fault of their own. Real immigration reform is another issue, and it obviously involves securing our borders.