On the Dream Act and Julian Assange

On the Dream Act and Julian Assange December 7, 2010

Great reads today:

1.  I understand why some conservatives would make no concessions to illegal immigrants.  But the truth is, there are important distinctions between different kinds of illegal immigrants.  In fact, as one friend once pointed out to me, the term “undocumented immigrant,” while (I would say) a euphemism in the case of those who intentionally broke the law, is actually a more appropriate term when it comes to the children of illegal immigrants.  Then there are important distinctions between illegal immigrants who enter the country to participate in the massively profitable traffic of the Mexican drug cartels, and those who come to give their children a better future and are earnestly determined to work for their country and be good members of American society.

Michael Gerson’s column on the Dream Act is compelling.  It was utilized as a political weapon before the midterm elections, and Republicans have been right to focus on the most pressing issues facing the nation.  After Republicans take over the House, however, I would love to see them lead the way on the Dream Act.  It would be a great way to show that they are reasonable and fair on the immigration issue.  The children of illegal immigrants are not going back to Mexico.  Let’s give them incentives to serve their country and assimilate.

2.  Dianne Feinstein, long one of my favorite Democrats, makes the case strongly and clearly against the “micro-megalomaniac” (in the words of Christopher Hitchens) Julian Assange.  Those who view Assange as some sort of revolutionary leader (and some have written me, since my post on “The Right Not to Know“) are — I’m sorry — sorely mistaken.  Assange has, with malice aforethought, with a clearly stated intent to weaken and even bring down the American government, exposed confidential information in a way that harms vital national interests as well as homeland security.  If we want a government that can serve our interests, a government that can function diplomatically on the world stage, a government that can protect us offensively and defensively, then we need a government that can keep information confidential – and can bring to justice people like Assange who leak confidential documents on a massive scale.

The “sex crimes” allegations against Assange sound sketchy to me.  But he should be brought to justice in the United States for violating the Espionage Act.  Or, if the Espionage Act is not sufficient for a cyber-age, then our representatives in Congress should pass an updated version that can be applied to Assange and the Wikileaks cabal.

Neither of these are, or ought to be, partisan issues.  And I do believe that Christians, even those who wish to hold illegal immigrants accountable for the law they broke, should look with abundant compassion and grace upon their children.

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  • Nathan

    100% agreement on the DREAM act, though I must warn you against your rosy hopes for the GOP lead congress. Under Obama, containment of the US-Mexico boarder is better and numbers of illegal crossings has decreased, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to members of congress.

    On Feinstein’s op-ed, she conveniently leaves out the single most important Supreme Court case in deciding this type of issue: “The NYT v. the United States” over the Pentagon papers. There the court set a very clear precedent that charges of violating the espionage act have to pass a very high bar to override the first amendment. Possibly Assange’s leaks endanger individuals, but the number of really important stories / confirmations that have come out of the most recent release suggests to me that it has served the purposes of the First Amendment well.

    Ad hominems on Assange are, as usual, besides the point.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Nice to agree on something, Nathan! As for border containment, I would have to look at whether the improvements are due to the programs that Bush put in place, as those are increasingly applied and completed, or whether it has something to do with Obama’s policies and actions. I want to be honest and confess that I am not sufficiently informed on that.

      Comments on Assange’s character are only relevant legally to the extent that they reflect on his intent, but they are relevant morally and socially to the extent that we assess Assange himself, and WikiLeaks, and whether he is engaged in something admirable or deplorable.

      I’m curious to know: what are the “really important stories / confirmations” you have in mind?

      • Nathan

        I think you are right. I can’t find sources at the moment, but I seem to remember that it is a result of the fact that Obama has continued and increased the same tactics employed by the Bush administration, resulting in a decrease in boarder crossings. (Of course, the economy is also a potential factor.)

        On Wikileaks, I’m thinking primarily of confirmation about the Bush administration involvement in the El-Masri extraordinary rendition (the ACLU is now making a suit based on the information). The next big story is confirmation that the Google cyber attack emerged from the highest ranks of the Chinese governments. These two stories alone are pretty huge.

        A lot of the other stuff puts a new spin on secret negotiations (a new perspective on Iran’s isolation and China’s frustration with N. Korea). These should alter our political rhetoric about these two countries.

        But clearly some of the material is gratuitous or damaging without benefit (for instance the location of cross-atlantic cables and other sensitive government cites), some of the Yemen cables. These are harmful without benefit and ought to have been redacted. (Here I see the potential for a narrow application of the Espionage act; something along the lines that a person with valuable information to release has to exercise some restraint in the interests of national security, where the information provides no benefit, but potential harm.)

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  • Francis



    Majority Senate Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois predicts the Dream act will come up for a vote this week. We cannot let Senator Reid and his demagogues lever this badly worded immigration bill in for a vote. With Senator Reid at the helm of his Liberal ship, he cannot be allowed to pass this law–as is? It will cause another Chain Migration avalanche of family members, who eventually will end up on the welfare rolls. This became predominant after first of sixth amnesties that began in 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill. There is absolutely no question that in the coming years, student family members will become a further economic encumbrance on the middle class once –Chain Migration–is underway. This nation cannot afford this monstrosity of a bill, in this fiscal period with America teetering on a 14 Trillion dollar edge of insolvency. This is not just about the US treasury, but almost every State the money reservoir are badly depleted from the illegal alien welfare programs.

    California-the Sanctuary State—on the front line of illegal immigration has serious money problems.

    Just because someone does not agree with the provisions of the Dream Act, does not mean they are a racist. When the Tea Party memberships were branded as racist, the illegal alien students lost their argument with American people. For over twenty years citizens and permanent residents have been paying for children of illegal alien parents in education through K-12, health care and a host of other welfare entitlements. This includes the babies intentionally born in this country, so the parents cannot be deported and able to collect food stamps, medical in the name of the baby. The average population grows from instant citizenship children of 300 thousand a year. Taking advantage of the badly interpreted 14th amendment, that gives instant citizenship to the infants of illegal alien mothers.

    It seems the more the taxpayer gives, the more foreign trespassers demand. The Dream Act is another ideology born of Liberal progressives who seem to believe we as a nation have an obligation to support every impoverished person, who manages to slip through our borders either on foot, vehicle or by plane. As I have repeated before-there will be more taxes needed to pay for this back-door amnesty. Those taxpayers who have had enough, Scourge your Senators with your words and your Members of Congress to oppose the DREAM Act Amnesty — 202-224-3121 NumbersUSA for details. NumbersUSA will inform you of the truth.

    Illegal alien students are not exempt from joining the armed services in time of war. Once enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, under 8 USC § 1440, these illegal aliens can become naturalized citizens through expedited processing, often obtaining U.S. citizenship in six months? Every student or any foreign national has the option of being recruited for the military, without the need for passing the Dream Act.

    With regards to States as Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico being financial impacted by the illegal alien occupation. If the Federal governments failure to enforce our border with a national military presence or the original double layer fencing barrier, then states should have a right to police the best way they can in protecting Americans from foreigners who cross the border with an intentions to do harm or other criminal activity. The US Supreme Court should do the right thing for every state that is under continuous bombardment by economic illegal aliens and dangerous persons, that has propagated across our country. The should see through business entities such as the US Chamber of Commerce, whose main involvement is profitable gain for its business owner subscribers. Include in these complainants organizations who have a financial interest in bringing in illegal aliens, such as immigration attorneys who make their living in filing documents and consultations with the influx of people.

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  • This is a good-hearted, wrong-headed piece of legislation.

    A problem which the bill creates is homeless children: if the children are made citizens, who will raise them? The illegally immigrated parents? We will have a large group of young people now declared legal (which is a good thing in theory) being raised by parents who are illegal and now located by the INS through the child’s application.

    This is a camel’s-nose-in-the-tent kind of bill, I fear. How could anyone deny the parents the right to stay and raise their own children?

    I don’t think there can be a piecemeal granting of citizenship. Surely a better plan can be devised.

    • Nathan

      Dr. Mike, you should realize that when we are talking about “children” we are often talking about people in the range of 16-25 years. This is not necessarily going to create massive orphanages. It’s going to allow high school graduates who have lived their entire lives in the US to go to college and serve in the military.

  • Darrell

    Assimilate? You’d have to drive a stake in the heart of multiculturalism and “diversity” first.