U.S. Electoral Politics: September 2010 Archives



The fate of almost a million lives could be decided in the next six hours.  As a voter, as a millenial, as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, I'm writing to say that I will be watching along with the vast majority of those who will determine the future of the United States of America. 

If you already haven't heard already, Harry Reid is going to offer the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act up as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate is scheduled to vote on taking up the Act tomorrow at 2:15 p.m.  If you haven't called you're Senator yet in the support of the DREAM Act please do so now by calling:

888-254-5087

It is imperative that you focus on these Senators.  If you've called already, call again.  If you've called again, ask five friends to do the same.  If you've done all that, here are some more actions you can take.
A lot of the media analysis around a possible vote on the DREAM Act is centered around the fact that Democrats are doing this to shore up the Latino vote in time for the elections.  As I've written before, that's true but it's not the whole story.

There has been very little analysis, if any, on how the Republicans are playing politics with the DREAM Act.  In Oklahoma, the Republican Governors Association is using the Democrats move on the DREAM Act to try and open up a line of attack on Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, who is currently running for Oklahoma governor against Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK). 

The Oklahoman has more:

A move by Senate Democratic leaders to consider controversial immigration legislation as part of the annual defense bill has angered some Republicans but has given ammunition to a GOP  group targeting Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in the Oklahoma  gubernatorial race.

[...]

The Republican Governors Association launched an attack on Askins last week in regard to an Oklahoma law passed in 2003 that allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public universities and apply for financial aid. The group ran an ad linking Askins' support for that bill to President Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership.

If Reid's effort to add the immigration provisions to the defense bill is aimed at helping Democrats courting Hispanic voters, he didn't appear to do Askins, the Democratic nominee for governor, any favors.

After Reid announced his plan last week, the GOP group posted a video on YouTube, again linking Askins to national Democrats and showing a clip from an event in which Askins appears to say that she supports "an older version" of the DREAM Act.

"I'm sure Jari Askins is grateful that Harry Reid is moving forward with the DREAM Act even if it is tacked on to legislation that protects our national security," spokesman Chris Schrimpf said.
Chris Casteel - The Oklahoman (19 September 2010)

DeeDee Blase the founder of Somos Republicanos has written a letter to Harry Reid endorsing the DREAM Act

Dear Senator Reid:

I would like to thank you for bringing attention to the DREAM Act/Department of Defense amendment, specifically as it relates to tens of thousands of highly qualified young people who would be able to enlist into the Armed Forces if the DREAM Act becomes law.
Here is more pressure on moderate Republicans.  Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mark Kirk (D-IL) has also refused to make a decision on the DREAM Act.  


Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) is starting to feel the heat of pro-migrant voters, specifically Latino voters. Tonight, Univision will air a debate in which current Florida governor and U.S. Senate nominee Charlie Crist will come out in support of the DREAM Act.  The day before yesterday, Representive Kendrick Meek (D-FL), and also a nominee for U.S. Senate, hand delivered a letter to LeMieux.  This part of Meek's letter says it all:
This letter was referenced in this Roll Call article:

Pressure Mounts on LeMieux to Support DREAM Act

Immigration reform advocates have been honing in on Sen. George LeMieux as a potential ally in their campaign to pass the DREAM Act, and now the Florida Republican is facing added pressure from a lawmaker from his home state.

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) hand-delivered a letter to LeMieux on Thursday urging his support for the DREAM Act, which provides a pathway to citizenship for children in the country illegally if they serve in the military or go to college. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Tuesday that he plans to attach the measure to the defense authorization bill, which he hopes to bring to the floor next week.
Jennifer Bendery - Roll Call (16 September 2010)
Below I will quickly type out the letter (please excuse and typos) and I will also upload it (pdf):
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos is reporting through twitter that a spokesman has said "Senator Harry Reid wants to bring the DREAM Act to the Senate floor before November."

Important: Senator Harry Reid wants to bring the Dream Act to the Senate floor before November, his spokesperson told me.less than a minute ago via web


The Senate goes back into session on Monday, September 13.  By my amateur estimations we will have a month at most to move the DREAM Act, in the Senate.   

Election day 2010 is on Nov. 2, this year, and the closer we get to elections, the less of a chance the Senate will take on anything "controversial." 

There has been rumblings of Sen. Reid wanting to move the DREAM Act for sometime, now, but this report from Jorge Ramos substantiates those rumblings at just the time we need to build the momentum for our final push. 

I think this is our last chance to pass the DREAM Act or any meaningful immigration reform at the federal level for at least the next two years.  If you've got any gas left in the tank to push for this, now is the time to use it.