Here would be my three main suggestions:
1) Lower the age of entry into the US. Even the new versions of the law extend amnesty to people who entered the US up to age 16. That allows too many people who entered on their own impetus rather than as part of a family group and too many people whose first language will never be English. I’d lower to 12, to ensure we really are talking about children who have spent half or more of their lives in the US.
2) False statements in the application should be prosecutable. As written, lying on the forms is still a good one-way option: it might help, and it can’t hurt.
3) For those who choose enlistment rather than college, I’d require honorable discharge rather than 2 years service as a prerequisite for regularization. For those who choose college rather than enlistment, I’d like to see some measure- I’m not sure how to write such a rule myself to prevent the emergence of a huge industry of fly by night institutions that will enroll (and keep enrolled) all paying customers regardless of how terribly they perform. As the law is now written, that last is an all too likely consequence.
With those changes, DREAM could be genuinely useful as part of a package of immigration reforms ...
2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan