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Too bad parties play political football with DREAM Act

Post by Cheryl Tucker on May 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm with 7 Comments »
May 20, 2011 6:30 pm

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

It would be a shame if partisan politics kept Congress from passing at least some version of the DREAM Act, which offers a path to citizenship for young illegal aliens who serve in the military or make significant progress in college.

But that seems to be happening as the legislation becomes a chip in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship over the immigration issue, with both parties using it to score points with their constituencies.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of young people who want to contribute to their country through the military or higher education are left in limbo.

That’s unfair to them – many of whom came to this country as young children – and to the nation; the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the DREAM Act passed, government revenues would increase by $2.3 billion by 2020 through the higher level of productivity of the young people who qualified under it for legal residency or citizenship.

The DREAM Act has had support from some Republicans over the years, most notably Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who has been a co-sponsor when the legislation was introduced in the past. But he declined to co-sponsor the bill when it was re-introduced Wednesday.

A spokesman for Lugar said that it was because Democrats – and President Barack Obama in particular – have made immigration a divisive election issue, using the DREAM Act as a wedge to win Hispanic votes. With the growing clout of Hispanics in many red state races, Democrats are pointing to GOP opposition to the DREAM Act as reason not to vote for Republicans.

DREAM Act supporters say Luger’s real reason for backing down is that he’s facing tough primary challenge from the tea party, which has made him a prime target for defeat in 2012. Teaming with Democrats on any part of immigration reform – especially legislation that looks something like amnesty – doesn’t play well with the more conservative wing of his party.

The DREAM Act could be made more palatable to moderate Republicans. For instance, the bill now applies to anyone brought to this country before age 16. That age could be lowered a few years. And illegal immigrants qualify under the bill even with two misdemeanors; tighten that up, and more Republicans might come on board.

Ideally, the DREAM Act would be part of more comprehensive immigration reform. But neither side seems particularly interested in the down-and-dirty work involved with that in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

The question is: Will they ever find the political courage?

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. tree_guy says:

    “Ideally, the DREAM Act would be part of more comprehensive immigration reform”

    Cheryl, you’re a undoubtedly a really nice person but you’re dead wrong.

    By creating this special privilege for some illegals we invite more young families to cross the border illegally. It’s important that we remove all reasons for illegals to attempt to cross the border. They can strive to make their home countries a better place just as you claim they are here in the US. There are lots of people all over the world waiting patiently for their immigration applications to be approved and they want to make the US a better place too! Why should illegals jump to the head of the line?

  2. nwcolorist says:

    “The DREAM Act has had support from some Republicans over the years, most notably Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.”.

    And now, even Lugar is shying away from it.

    If it’s so wonderful, why can’t the Dems get any Republican support?
    Answer: Because it’s purely political theater.

  3. TheMASO says:

    Washington is one of two sanctuary states; the other is NM. This is costing the taxpayers in excess of $332B per year. Until the federal and this state government address illegal immigration you will not find any support here!

  4. It would be a shame if partisan politics helped congress pass some version of the NIGHTMARE Act, which offers yet another path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

    Instead, we should clean up the post-1964 broken system by
    * completing the construcion of the 8600+ miles of border fence and vehicle barriers with all due speed,
    * patrolling the borders with sufficient numbers of properly armed and equipped defensive forces,
    * eliminating visa waivers,
    * reducing the numbers of visas of every kind to manageable levels,
    * by running proper background investigations on every visa applicant,
    * requiring visa applicants to measure up to some reasonable standards,
    * eliminating the judiciary-created anchor baby loop-hole,
    * reducing “family reunification” in the priority scheme, and
    * tracking visa grantees well enough to make sure 99.9% of them leave by the time their visas expire.

  5. larsman says:

    Cheryl, Your assumptive attitude and confusion really mock my daughter-in-law.
    She came here Legally from Sweden dealing with the processes including all of the waiting, paperwork, fees and fulfilling all legal residency requirements, AND payed for her own tuition without the racist-politically motivated tuition reductions given out like toilet paper in “sanctuary states” to those who carry a 60 lb. bag of pot across the border as “cover charge” for coyotes, and rig the system via anchor babies and La Raza.

    Our girl knows U.S. history better than most native high school seniors, and has no intentions of starting any movement to “give back what America stole” (current idiotic curriculum among Spanish-speaking border state public schools) from Sweden.

    Come on now Mrs. Tucker. Our country is about INDIVIDUAL rights AND responsibilities, not catering to some ill-perceived racial preferential treatment of the current “voting-block-de- jour”…

  6. truthbusterguy says:

    Dream act is a NON STARTER!!! Case closed.

    Another bummer from obummer

  7. Cheryl:
    Maybe just post jgo & Larsmans comments as your next editorial. Well thought out, intelligent, reasonable, and accurate.

    If its not closet racism, then it must be politics that doesn’t allow Republicans to get behind this horrible piece of legislation. Gotta have a bogeyman, versus just accepting that many people believe it is BAD legislation. Our first priority needs to be the construction of a real border fence, and guarded properly. Guns flow south, drugs flow north, illegal aliens flow north.

    Secure our borders, then lets discuss immigration reform.

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