The news that as many as 50 individuals, including Hollywood actresses, conspired to illicitly gain admission for their children into colleges and universities was met with almost universal condemnation from all corners.
According to the Justice Department, one individual, Rick Singer, conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator, and others, “to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities.”
The same day, federal authorities arrested five individuals involved with a conspiracy to help Chinese nationals get student visas by hiring others who used fake Chinese passports to take an English proficiency test for the foreign students.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the defendants were charged with conspiring to use false passports, using false passports, and aggravated identity theft as part of the scheme to impersonate Chinese nationals in order to obtain a student visa.
Although the specifics of the frauds were different, they both offend the very American notion of fair play and equal opportunity. No one likes line-cutters whether they are Hollywood stars or foreign scam artists. Why then are so many of the same people who are rightfully outraged and offended by the college admissions scams advocating for wholesale line-cutting when it comes to immigration?
When it comes to immigration, cheating the system is seen by many not as a vice, but a virtue. This week, the Democratic leadership in the House endorsed H.R. 6, The Dream and Promise Act, a bill that expands on the mass amnesty DREAM Act by offering permanent citizenship to those in the country on temporary humanitarian visas. The legislation would move to the head of the line as many as 2.3 million illegal alien children.
What about the millions of immigrants who are working long and hard to gain entry into the United States through legal means and at sometimes great financial cost?
While the likelihood of that measure passing the Senate is slim to none, what about the programs the government already funds that vault wealthier immigrants to the front of the citizenship line?
For example, the controversial and fraud-ridden EB-5 program allows rich foreign investors to obtain green cards for their families if they spend $500,000 to job-producing projects in the U.S. And many of those projects never get off the ground.
Or the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which ostensibly is designed to permit designated school officials to assist foreign students obtain certain three-year “practical training” work visas.
Many of those schools, in the words of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), act as “visa mills” that provide little education or oversight.
Last year, the Senate Judiciary Chairman reached out to the Department of Homeland Security to restate his concerns that the schools “provide little to no educational benefit to those who pay tuition, instead acting as surreptitious employment agencies for aliens seeking to work in the United States.”
The idea of an equal playing field and equal opportunity remains a distinctly American principle. And there should be outrage at Hollywood actresses, wealthy investors or illegal immigrants cutting the line.