Today President Obama is meeting with Senator Menendez and Representatives Gutierrez and Velazquez about immigration reform and the DREAM Act. This meeting comes a day after the California Supreme Court upheld AB 540, which grants instate tuition to undocumented students who have attended high school in California for at least three years and seek to pursue post-secondary education at state institutions. In recent days, both of the Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House (Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) have indicated that they would move forward with the DREAM Act. All of this comes at a time when House Republicans are being warned that they should not compromise during the lame duck session.
Today’s Congressional Quarterly reports:
“On the Democratic side, Pelosi is under pressure from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to push through the House a bill known as the DREAM Act (HR 1751, S 729), which would create a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military.
Xavier Becerra of California, the Democratic Caucus vice chairman, said House action will probably depend on whether the Senate will act on the bill as well. No House vote is expected before Thanksgiving, he said.”
In the meantime, groups like the National Council of La Raza are sending out action alerts like this one encouraging Republican leaders to not stand in the way of the DREAM Act.
This morning LatinoPoliticsBlog spoke to its own source in the House, who confirmed that there probably aren’t enough votes in the Senate right now for the DREAM Act even though the measure has had bi-partisan support in previous years. Our source also indicated that the House probably won’t move on the DREAM Act unless the Senate does first because the House has been burned when it has generated the more progressive pieces of legislation in the current session (see the health reform battle for context).