Orrin Hatch, The Dream Act, And One Dubious “Poster Child”
Ok I admit it, I`m confused.
Back in my day (ugh, I`m 33 and I already say back in
my day) politics was a relatively simple game.
The Democrats could be counted on to promote the
Marxist scam of the month. The Republicans could be
counted on to resist.
The predictability of party-line politics is a
fundamental resource for legislative aides—I was
Chief of Staff for a California Assemblyman—because
you need to know who you can count on for legislative
support. (Umm, preferably before session
Illegal immigration was generally a delineating issue, a
So I begin my rant today with a few simple questions:
- Is there still a Republican Party? I mean,
really a GOP…you know, with
conservative principles and things of that nature.
- For whom is this
DREAM Act actually a dream?
- When did Senator
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) switch sides?
My Exhibit A: Senator Orrin Hatch, his
DREAM Act and its dubious poster child.
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act
(DREAM—S.545) is not just an amnesty program, it`s a
taxpayer-subsidized amnesty program that would
displace American students from college. It would
legalize illegal aliens in
unlimited numbers as they complete U.S.
high school and also compel states to make these
illegals eligible for subsidized in-state college
whatever happened to federalism?)
In November 2004, Senator Hatch also introduced S.2999,
a senate bill
"for the relief of Heilit Martinez."
private relief bill is customarily introduced when all
administrative and legal remedies have been exhausted.
Most relief bills deal with immigration and citizenship.
So who is Heilit Martinez and why would Senator Hatch
seek immigration relief on her behalf?
describes herself as "the poster child" for the
In an illuminating op-ed
Suddenly, I was An Illegal Alien she explains. [Salt
Lake Tribune 12/18/2004]
On a trip with school chums, Martinez, then a student at
Utah State University, traveled into Juarez, Mexico
through El Paso Texas. She offered these details of her
the border]…When they asked if we were citizens, I
was honest and said no. I had no passport (my father
told me it had been delayed for the past 1 1/2 years in
San Francisco) and had been told my green card was
Important note: She said she knew she was not a U.S.
Just to challenge your knowledge of the law, see how
many crimes you can identify in her explanation of the
one…being an illegal alien.
Not a crime (thanks
Plyler vs. Doe) but an interesting tax burden.
"I was registered
throughout my school years with a
falsely notarized birth certificate that my parents
had given me. The false notary gave my birth date as
Oct. 16, 1984. I found out later I was actually born
Oct. 16, 1986."
friends, along with Utah State faculty, contacted the
mayor of Salt Lake City who in turn contacted Senator
"I was granted
humanitarian parole. I am currently waiting for a
bill to go out in my name in Washington. Sen. Hatch had
previously tried to pass a bill called the DREAM Act in
She describes Hatch`s DREAM Act as a bill that would:
immigrants who were
brought here as children by their parents and have
graduated from a U.S. high school who now want to
further their education by either
attending college or
serving in the military."
And, to cap it all
off, she said:
"I am to be, in a
poster child for this
Isn`t that nice? When I was in Sacramento, the phrase
poster child had a slightly different connotation.
Poster child was an idiom used to identify an enemy…or
Good luck with that, Heilit!
However, that does explain the relief bill: Senator
Hatch found a poster child for his DREAM Act.
But Martinez` rendition of events, as well as her
personal history, does not pass what my colleagues in
opposition research used to call the Stink Test.
She says was two when she arrived in the United States
and was technically born in 1986, which means she
arrived in 1988.
She graduated from Kearns High School in 2003.
Therefore, if she participated in every grade level, she
began kindergarten in 1990.
Her birthday, whatever the correct year, is in October.
Virtually all public schools commence in September.
Which means by her account she started school at the age
of three, going on four.
With her year of birth recorded as 1984, school
officials would have registered her Kindergarten age as
5 going on 6.
Unless she was a wunderkind or freakishly large,
how did a 3 year-old convince anybody she was almost 6?
And what about that birth certificate?
- She told Border
Patrol she was not a U.S. citizen.
- For 15 years she
used an American birth certificate.
- The birth
certificate was a
- She claims ignorance
of its inauthenticity.
If you are confused—because Martinez also says she was
born in Mexico—that`s because her story is confusing.
But if she thought she was born in the U.S.—and hence had a
U.S. birth certificate—why didn`t she tell the Border
Patrol agents that she was an American citizen?
And—Martinez also lost her job as a resident assistant
at Utah State University when her illegal status became
known to campus faculty.
This means at some point she must have provided
fraudulent identification for the purpose of obtaining
My guess: she provided a driver`s license. All resident
assistants have to drive, after all.
For those keeping score, that would be crime number
currently struggling for money, not only for myself but
my parents, too. I was their support, now I have lost
the ability to work legally."
How fascinating that she does not acknowledge that she
So what gives?
My guess: Martinez made the whole thing up.
If Martinez knowingly used a fraudulent birth
certificate in order to
- Obtain a
- Obtain a passport.
…well, she would be in a little bit of trouble.
But by claiming a different birth year, one that makes
her two years younger, she can declare herself a minor
at the time the crimes were committed. She can paint
herself the victim rather than the perpetrator.
Some poster child.
What gets me: the Heilit Martinez fraud was perpetuated
by an allegedly conservative alleged
We need a milk carton with a picture of an
elephant on the back and the words "Have You Seen
Please let me know if you find it.
Bryanna Bevens [email
her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff
for a member of the California State Assembly.