House Republican Leaders Preparing to “Rebrand” the DREAM Act

Since last November’s electoral defeat, Republicans have been engaged in a self-described “rebranding” effort. Maybe they do need a little more pizzazz, but simply slapping new labels on bad ideas is not going to impress the voters.

The latest transparent rebranding idea comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who has decided it would be a neat idea to take the Democrats’ DREAM Act bill, call it the KIDS Act, and market as something new and improved. The KIDS Act hasn’t actually been written yet, but based on the pre-rollout hype, it sounds about as different from the DREAM Act as Hertz is from Avis.

We’ve seen this movie before – in fact, very recently. Marco Rubio spent the last few months insisting that the Gang of Eight amnesty bill – a knock-off of the failed 1986 amnesty bill – wasn’t an amnesty. Or, witness Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) describe how he supports a vastly different approach to immigration reform than the one taken by the Gang of Eight, and then go on to describe the identical amnesty-first, enforcement-later plan passed by the Senate.

Cantor is not satisfied with repackaging an old product that has been sitting on the shelf for 13 years. He adds the imprimatur of the Founding Fathers to his amnesty pitch. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” the majority leader told the American Enterprise Institute a few months ago.

Really? That was one of the great founding principles of our nation? No, of course children should not be punished for the mistakes of their parents, but that doesn’t mean we need to reward children for the mistakes of their parents.

But even more deceptive than the new name and the fresh coat of paint Cantor is seeking to put on the DREAM Act (a bill he voted against in 2010), is the intent of his effort. The bill he is getting set to offer in the House is nothing more than a vehicle to get to a conference committee with the Senate. That’s where he, Ryan, and a few others can go behind closed doors with Harry Reid and the Gang of Eight and come out with a much broader amnesty bill – which they will rebrand as something totally new and different and, of course, not amnesty.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Only those who apply for citizenship through legal channels should be allowed to become US citizens. Those who come illegally should be sent back to their country of origin. They have the option of whether to take their children who were born here. Let’s not talk about how much this would cost. Obviously, there is money to throw away to green energy concepts which go bankrupt and don’t repay the money to the taxpayers. We need to se who votes for the amnesty bill and vote all of them out of office, regardless of political party. Fire them whether they are Democrats or Republicans. We need to let our Senators and Representatives know that we are closely watching their vote.

  2. avatar

    In 1990 the government had no problem separating me from my pregnant wife to go fight for them. Why is it more important that illegals not be inconvenienced?

    • avatar

      Good point but let us also remember the children of citizens who are in jails and prisons. No one cries how cruel it is to separate those families and many times the families lose things such as their home or car or the money to keep kids in a better school because the parent got those things illegally…but the kids didn t do anything illegal so Why are They punished? This to me is the same premise of the so called Dream acts…ok, the kids did not do anything illegal but they should not be allowed to profit from their parents illegal acts just as the children of imprisoned citizens are not allowed to profit! Laws are for All…otherwise these is no Law at All!

      • avatar

        IF the parents were so concerned about the kids, they’d all go home to their homeland so that the kids could apply to come here LEGALLY before age 18 1/2 without facing the bar to re-entry. But that would mean doing what legal foreign students and legal immigrants do–waiting in their home countries, taking their chances on being accepted, and having to pay to come here.

  3. avatar
    John Winthrop on

    Ira you said

    “:Really? That was one of the great founding principles of our nation? No, of course children should not be punished for the mistakes of their parents, but that doesn’t mean we need to reward children for the mistakes of their parents.”

    To speak legally and within the fabric this country was built:
    – Dred Scott US Supreme Court and the 13th Amendment EXHIBIT 1

    Blacks were banned from becoming citizens and their children either born here or brought from abroad were considered Illegal………

    See the similarity……………..brought here illegally…………….

    In a court of Law this would be accepted and the Dreamer would get their papers………..

    SO The above facts are true………….not because I say ii or I want this to be this way just simply FACTS.

    • avatar

      John, the 14th amendment was passed to address the situation you mentioned. It does NOT, however, give people who are NOT born here rights to citizenship.

  4. avatar
    linda hutchinson on

    families are split up everyday, no its not an ideal situation but they (the illegals’)have a choice, take the kids with you when you return to your country or leave them here with legal citizens. Apply for entry, wait your turn, stay in contact with you children and do thing the legal way. End of story.

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      Linda………my apologies in advance but you should educate yourself more about our Laws,,,,,,,, the system does not work like you just said it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

      • avatar

        John, if there were a basis in law for what you claim, you really think the guys pushing amnesty wouldn’t have tried that route?

        And you’re right–the system doesn’t work in quite the way linda says, since you generally have to have a SPONSOR to immigrate here (unless you win the diversity lottery). However, those “children” are able to return to their home countries before age 18 1/2 without facing the bar to re-entry and to have the same chance of anyone to apply to come here as a foreign student or to find an employer to sponsor them.

  5. avatar

    The Dream Act should not even happen. In all due fairness, if this should happen, then it should be made available to ALL the children of AMERICA first. When I think how hard my own children worked at their part-time jobs while going to school and continuing their jobs all the while their went onto college , why in hell shouldn’t they work for their education as well???? Sure they are stuck with student loans to be paid off. We couldn’t afford to send them, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams. My daughter has as of yet to finish her nursing degree. Where is The Dream Act for HER???????? THE GANG OF EIGHT NEED TO CUT THE CRAP!!!

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      you make no sense…………your children are doing what everybody has done…………..nothing new,,……I worked hard and paid school myself……………they should work hard to realize what life is all about,,,,,,

      So are you children Illegal?…….that is what you imply……

    • avatar

      The Current RN Unemployment Rate for College Graduates

      Is about 50% and believe me, the other 50% didn’t all find healthcare jobs, many [not coiunted as unemployed] are working as watresses and such….

      But green carded nurses are and have been insourced from foreign countries and they stole much [about 25% of the nursing jobs] of your daughter’s job opportunities on the cheap and many with subpar credentials too.

      I wish her luck paying her college loan back.

      • avatar

        As a critical care nurse for over 35 years, I can tell you that nurses are being brought over from other countries w/sub-optimal education and experience and the healthcare systems who bring them over are spending millions trying to basically re-educate them. The also pay them about 40-50 less than an American born nurse would make. On top of that, American born nurses are being forced to train and that is a huge liability issue for that nurse. Then there is the language issue. Many mistakes are made in healthcare because of language issues. I work with many healthcare people in my current hospital job who have such a poor command of English that things have to be explained to them time and time again. And the hospitals couldn’t care less. Well, hate to break it to you, but people are dying out there because their nurse doesn’t understand the language well enough.

  6. avatar

    The Dream Act also rewards the parents, Because who is going to deport the parent of a “dreamer”? That’s just it, rhe kids get in, then everbody complains you’re splittin up families when attempts are made to deport the parents.

    • avatar

      Yup. Obama’s already letting the parents of Dreamers remain here, even though they’ve already had due process and have been ordered deported. And that’s WITHOUT a Dream Act on the books as law.