White House makes final push for DREAM Act

The Obama administration stepped up its campaign Friday, Dec. 17th, to overcome a possible Republican filibuster of the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide undocumented immigrant youth a pathway to legal status through public service.

The law would enable tens of thousands of immigrant youth to attend college or enter military service as well. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a procedural vote on the DREAM Act for Sat., Dec. 18.

A number of Republicans who are either co-authors and co-sponsors of past versions of this bill have yet to indicate whether they will support overcoming a Republican filibuster.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called passage of the bill urgent for the American economy. "We have to educate our way to economic recovery," he told reporters on a conference call Friday. "The only way we're going maintain our country's competitiveness in a knowledge-based, competitive global economy is by providing high-quality education, by providing more opportunity not less."

Duncan welcomed the energy and hard work of young people into the workforce and into American colleges and universities. "So far we've been fundamentally backward on this issue," he said.

"To have a chance to change this tomorrow in the Senate would be an extraordinary moment for this country and this country's economy," Duncan added. He characterized passage of the law as the right thing to for the young people as well as for the economy. "This is going to go down as an absolutely historic vote," he said.

Senior White House officials explained that members of the Cabinet and the President himself have campaigned vigorously for passage of the bill and will work through Friday and Saturday to win a successful outcome on the filibuster vote.

The House narrowly passed a version of the DREAM Act earlier this week. Republicans remain split on the measure, however. While a number of current and incoming Republican members of Congress used anti-immigrant hostility and racist imagery of Latinos they associated with the immigration issue, some prominent Republicans fear their inability to move forward on the issue could harm their future electoral chances in states where they now hold large majorities but in which the number of Latino voters is on the rise.

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  • The DREAM Act is a nightmare for Americans. This is nothing more than backdoor amnesty. The last thing we need to do is encourage more illegal immigration. Enforce our laws and end illegal immigration forever!

    Posted by Stephen, 12/17/2010 6:12pm (10 years ago)

  • What leg up do you imagine children of immigrants get from the DREAM Act? This is about creating a path to legal status.

    Posted by Rose, 12/17/2010 4:02pm (10 years ago)

  • On the racism issue, I saw commercial after commercial from Sharron Angle's campaign that invented images of Latinos as "illegals" a term that is dehumanizing and since it is never directed at European immigrants is racist: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43745.html

    Of course David Vitter, the habitual "john," did it too:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/29/vitter-immigration-latinos/

    Posted by Rose, 12/17/2010 3:59pm (10 years ago)

  • FOX news is Ok, but I don't need their opinions to form mine, i.e., like most people. GOP - racist - the Dems should look in the mirror on that one - they want to dictate to existing Americans who died for this country. An quite frankly I am tired of "racist" anything - THAT IS NOT the issue. ILLEGAL is.. Take all the other made up issues away and ILLEGAL remains ILLEGAL.

    Leg up is the lower in state tuition rates for one, the Dream Act provides.. The Proper policy is to immigrate properly. Not just expect it because that is convenient. Everything else is an excuse.. If I don't pay my taxes, I have a legal problem. If I were walk over a border of any other country I would have legal problem.

    There is no smoke and mirrors in ILLEGAL. Americans do not want this, and we don't want a socialist agenda - period.

    Posted by David, 12/17/2010 3:19pm (10 years ago)

  • @David

    Just exactly what leg up has someone on FOX news or Rush Limbaugh convinced these kids are getting?

    This bill is about providing a path to legal residency for youth who do public service like join the military. Why are you against that?

    I am tired of the racist message from GOP candidates, too.

    Posted by Rose, 12/17/2010 1:49pm (10 years ago)

  • No to DREAM Act.. We have plenty of young Americans who need a leg up, and don't get it.. I am also tired of the racist garbage.. Illegal means illegal.. Go to another country like "Mexico" and you see what their immigration laws are like.

    This is just using Americans good nature, by politicians who want to stay in office. Which is stated as Politicians who want to stay in Power.. This country is run by the American people and we say NO, and quite frankly that is our right, and we really do not care who likes it or not.

    Finally, politicians need to have their lifetime benefits revoked, and be on the same health care we the people have to put up with.. Some reality would go along way.

    Posted by David, 12/17/2010 1:29pm (10 years ago)

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