Palin slams DREAM Act during Ellis Island visit

By David Edwards
Thursday, June 2, 2011 11:28 EDT
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Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin celebrated her visit to Ellis Island Wednesday by attacking legislation that would give undocumented children a chance to stay in the country.

Ellis Island is “one of the symbols of course of our country, and it’s a reminder too that immigrants built this country,” Politico quoted Palin as saying. “So we want to make sure that we’re highlighting that on our bus tour, maybe so that the present day immigrants know how much we appreciate them and their work ethic, and their love of country and freedom.”

But the Fox News employee, who has hinted at a 2012 presidential run, suggested that her appreciation for immigrants didn’t extend to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. That legislation would allow for young immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools to stay in the country if they serve two years in the military or acquire a four-year college degree.

“The immigrants of the past, they had to literally and figuratively stand in line to become U.S. citizens. I’d like to see that continue,” Palin said. “And unfortunately, the DREAM Act kind of usurps that-the system that is a legal system to make sure that immigrants who want to be here legally, working hard, producing and supplying revenue and resources for their families, that they’re able to do that right and legally. Unfortunately, the DREAM Act doesn’t accomplish that.”

Perhaps Palin didn’t realize that the path to becoming a citizen was much simpler during the 62 years that Ellis Island was in operation.

Over a two-minute period, immigrants were asked 29 questions. Those that were approved, spent less than five hours on the island.

Today’s immigration process takes years.

“Had she and the family taken to standard tour they would have known that,” liberal blogger Digby noted. “They would also know that the DREAM Act refers to human beings who had no choice in the fact and were brought here as babies and children and grew up just like her precious little ones as Americans. They had no more choice in the matter than her children did.”

“What kind of a person can’t at least summon up some compassion for these kids?”

Watch this video from USA Today, broadcast June 1, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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