Remember Elvira Arellano? An illegal immigrant, Arellano hid out in a Chicago church to avoid deportation after a second illegal entry. Arellano had also committed Social Security fraud, a nasty habit that amnesty proponents prefer to overlook. Apprehended in California in August 2007, Arellano was finally booted out of the U.S. after becoming a media figure and poster child for reforming our immigration laws.
Thoughtful Illinois legislators have decided to make life better for the state’s illegal immigrants. The Illinois DREAM Act has been approved, and awaits Governor Pat Quinn’s signature. Had Arellano been able to hang on for just a few more years she might have been able to qualify for a scholarship, or could have invested for her son’s education in the public college savings program. One of the requirements for illegals to use the savings plan is a Social Security or taxpayer identification number, so she was already halfway there.
Lawmakers backing the Illinois DREAM Act maintain that no taxpayer money will go towards the higher educations of illegal immigrants because the scholarships are privately funded. This is an easy one to test. Illinois should stop all public funding of state colleges and universities. Let’s see how long they last without the support of overstressed taxpayers already paying higher income taxes. Will school counselors, tasked with giving illegals an informed leg up, still feel like being informative without their publicly funded salaries?
It is no big surprise that Illinois followed Barack Obama’s lead. The president should be pleased that his wrecked home state stepped up to the plate and lent a helping hand to illegals, something he is eager to do on a much grander scale. Illinois is unable to grant U.S. citizenship, and the Obama administration made it clear to Arizona that the Federal Government enforces our immigration laws. This raises the tantalizing question of whether ICE can use Illinois DREAM Act scholarship information to identify illegal immigrants and deport them, college degree or not. The president claims to be big on immigration enforcement. Here is an opportunity to live up to his words.
To be fair, the Illinois DREAM Act could benefit the illegal community in one big way. Unlike Arellano, maybe college educated illegals can think up smarter frauds so they don’t get caught.