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DREAM Act and Immigration Reform Updates

November 16th, 2010 · 8 Comments

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).

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Tags: Education · Immigration · Rep. Luis Gutierrez · Rep. Nydia Velazquez · Rep. Xavier Becerra · Sen. Robert Menendez

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention DREAM Act and Immigration Reform Updates -- Topsy.com // Nov 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vivir Latino, LatinoPolitics and Sonia G, Icecld2. Icecld2 said: RT @theSoniaG: RT @LatinoPolitics: DREAM Act & #Immigration Reform Updates: http://bit.ly/admkb2 #dreamact [...]

  • 2 GREEN // Nov 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Great! Thanks for the update. I was wondering about this one.

  • 3 chalan // Nov 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    It is going to take someone with a little bit of courage and a sense of righteousness to move this one forward in the Congress as there is no financial rewards attached to this one. To bad there isn’t a rich and powerful lobby to help on this, because if there were all our finest elected would be falling over themselves to sponsor and push this forward. Some Member of Congress would you do the right thing and bring this to the floor……, Pleeeease.

  • 4 Anna // Nov 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Re: “the House probably won’t move on the DREAM Act unless the Senate does first ”

    The same old bait and switch. Harry Reid needs to bring this up for a vote like he promised to do during the campaign.

  • 5 webmaster // Nov 16, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    “The same old bait and switch. Harry Reid needs to bring this up for a vote like he promised to do during the campaign.”

    Harry Reid can bring it up for a vote, but he will likely need GOP support for it. Note that there weren’t any GOP Senators at the meeting with President Obama today, so what does that tell you? If Harry Reid brings it up and he gets no Republican support, he can then turn around and say, “Well, I brought it up for a vote, but we didn’t get any cooperation.” This article provides a bit more context:

    http://washingtonindependent.com/103521/pro-immigration-reform-democrats-to-meet-with-obama

    This also points to why we need filibuster reform… a simple majority isn’t enough any more.

  • 6 Anna // Nov 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    You’re drinking the Kool-Aid. If they wanted to bring this up for a vote, they would. Now they have people thinking that filibuster reform has to happen first. If they don’t have the votes, then they don’t have the votes. Doing nothing is worse.

    Reid doesn’t have the Republican votes, but does he have the Democratic votes either? I doubt it. Twenty-three senators are up for reelection in 2012, and he doesn’t want them to take such a risky vote. That’s the real reason they won’t vote on it.

    Does Congress always have to vote on every act that pertains to immigration? Are there any instances of Executive Orders? What about when the Cubans came here? Was that voted on by Congress or was it an Executive Order from President Johnson?

  • 7 webmaster // Nov 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Uh, there is no Kool-Aid — and I never said that filibuster reform has to happen first. They are going to bring it up for a vote on Nov. 29 in the House, according to this:

    http://www.capitalwirepr.com/pr_description.php?id=bafabca7-9b0f-1bf1-99e1-4ce2ef8b0852

    If they don’t have the votes, one issue to consider in even bringing up DREAM for a vote is that those who vote “no” this time will have a harder time becoming “yes” votes if there is an opportunity in the future to bring it up (how do you explain a potential flip flop on an issue like immigration?). In a way, I see the point in voting on it to draw a line in the sand and show the community who is for it and who is against it… it will be a chance for elected officials to take a public stand and back it up with a vote.

    I’m of the opinion that passage of DREAM is a real long shot… that’s the sober, non-Koolaid assessment.

    When the Cubans came here with the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, this public law was passed by the then Democratic Congress and signed by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. It was not done via executive order. And I doubt Obama is going to do anything immigration related via executive order. This piece back in June explains why and I think the reasoning is still sound and applicable:

    http://immigration.change.org/blog/view/is_obama_issuing_an_executive_order_to_legalize_undocumented_immigrants

  • 8 WhatThe.. // Nov 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    The Dream Act ain’t ever going to happen gente, you been dupped, but they got your vote. Dream Act would conflict with Federal Law, same exact question the court are inquiring regarding SB 1070.

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