When the DREAM Becomes a Nightmare
By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Governor Chris Christie is as effective a speaker on the issues of taxes, entitlement reform and school choice as you’ll ever find, Save Jerseyans. Plain spoken but substantively on-point; the clarity with which he speaks makes apolitical Americans want to get up and follow him and good faith dissenters concede the logic of his argument.
The so-called “YouTube moments” concerning ^^ are what we remember and, at least until Sandy and Bridgegate, they’re what defined his brand. Just as often, however, Chris Christie talks like what he is by training: a lawyer. And I don’t mean that in a disparaging way (I am one!). All the same, it can get him into trouble.
Immigration comes to mind as a prominent example.
It all started back in 2008, before he was even governor, when U.S. Attorney Christie inartfully tried to explain the difference between criminal illegal entry into the United States and civil penalties associated with overstaying a visa’s lifespan. I went easy on him at the time, but it was a lot more difficult to rationalize his support for a New Jersey version of the DREAM Act signed into law at the end of 2013.
Impossible, in fact.
Conservatives including yours truly warned that “compassionate” legislation would lead to a “magnet state” effect, inducing more illegal immigration without reforming the system to ensure equity for all of the affected parties. In short, a result with anything but a compassionate outcome! Opponents predictably scoffed at the criticism by trotting out the same old lame and unsubstantiated allegations of xenophobia.
Today, I get to say “I told you so” and it gives me absolutely no pleasure…
Lo and behold, we’re now faced with a full-fledged border flood, Save Jerseyans. I’m distressed by how few backers of the DREAMer movement are willing to concede defeat despite an avalanche of evidence heading right for them. Campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, Governor Christie rightly criticized the President’s response but left the door opened for our Garden State to house some of them:
Respectfully, the Big Guy has it a bit backwards. President Obama’s response is a problem, yes, but it’s what our politicians did beforehand – and what states like New Jersey are doing by passing “DREAM” acts – that’s engendering the current crisis.
They’ve let the world know there’s no negative consequence for flouting U.S. authority and the rule of law. There’s actually a benefit!
Better messaging is key for the GOP. We need to elect politicians to Congress in 2014 who can explain the imperative of adopting an enforcement-centric reform program in order to help maintain America as a land of opportunity for everyone, new immigrants and 7th generation blood bloods alike, much like Governor Christie did (and is still doing) to change the public benefits debate here in New Jersey.
Immigration done the right way makes this country stronger.
Illegal immigration, on the other hand, is one of the few costs rivaling our country’s growing state pension crisis. U.S. politicians didn’t learn a damn thing from the failures of the 1986 compromise and they’re ready to repeat the same mistakes. Our leaders need to quit dreaming and wake up before the American DREAM becomes a nightmare. We’re well on our way as of this writing under the Obama Administration and I’m just not hearing badly-needed counter-arguments from leading Republicans, my governor included.