Fox forwards misleading attack on Dream Act

Fox News advanced the misleading claim that the Dream Act would encourage further illegal immigration and grant in-state tuition for unauthorized immigrants. In fact, those not already living in the United States would not be eligible for legal status under the Dream Act, and the bill would affirm state authority to determine in-state tuition rules.

Fox forwards misleading claim that Dream Act would “encourage illegals to come to this country”

From the November 16 edition of Fox News' America Live:

EMANUEL: Senator David Vitter from Louisiana was critical, saying it's disguised as an education measure, but essentially you're encouraging illegals to come to this country and more than to, you know -- essentially have in-state tuition, why not come to the country illegally and encourage more people to come to this country illegally and so the Republicans pushed back pretty strong.

Dream Act would not provide legal status to future immigrants

Those who come to U.S. after enactment of Dream Act are not eligible for legal status. The House and Senate versions of the Dream Act state that in order to be eligible for conditional permanent residence under the Dream Act, an individual must demonstrate that he or she “has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding the date of enactment of this Act, and had not yet reached the age of 16 years at the time of initial entry.”

Dream Act does not grant in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants. Contrary to Emanuel's suggestion that the Dream Act would provide in-state tuition to unauthorized immigrants, the bill would affirm that states have the authority to decide who is eligible for college benefits available to residents of the state. The Dream Act legislation in the House and Senate would repeal Section 505 of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, passed during a period of particularly high anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. As the Congressional Research Service explained in a February 3 report, the 1996 law:

prohibits states from granting unauthorized aliens certain post secondary educational benefits on the basis of state residence, unless equal benefits are made available to all U.S. citizens. This prohibition is commonly understood to apply to the granting of “in-state” residency status for tuition purposes.

Previously, Fox falsely claimed Dream Act provides citizenship and student “preferences” to unauthorized immigrants. On the November 11 edition of America Live, Fox News claimed that the Dream Act would give citizenship to certain unauthorized immigrants and that the legislation creates “an illegal alien student preference program.” In fact, the proposal would provide conditional permanent residency status, not citizenship, to those eligible, and it does not give Dream Act students a “preference” over citizens and other legal permanent residents.