U.S. Immigration Reform: September 2010 Archives

Matias Ramos on twitter just signaled that the DREAM Act didn't move forward on what I believe was a vote of 56-43:

Reid has voted NO so that he can bring the bill back. Final vote came four votes short of cloture. #dreamactless than a minute ago via ƜberTwitter

The question is, what will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) do next?  I will write more later.  Below is an email from Mohammad Abdollahi of dreamactivist.org:

At 3:00 pm today a  vote was taken on the Defense Authorization Bill, this is the bill that the DREAM Act would have been attached to.  This was a vote on whether or not to simply talk about the Defense Authorization Bill, which the DREAM Act would have been attached.  This vote did not go through, but this is NOT the end of the line.
I just received this in my inbox from DeeDee Blase the founder of Somos Republicans:

19 September 2010

The Honorable John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

The Honorable Jon Kyl
730 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Below is a press release from Conservatives for CIR:

Conservatives For CIR Support DREAM Act Youth
Let Them Pursue their American Dreams

Washington, DC -- Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the DREAM Act could be voted on as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill. The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that enables high-achieving young people - immigrants who have been raised in the United States, have worked hard in school, and then pursue higher education or serve in the United States Armed Forces - to achieve the American Dream. Last week, CfCIR held meetings with member of Congress and the Obama administration, discussing their support for comprehensive immigration reform. Following is a statement from Juan Hernandez, founder of CfCIR, on the DREAM Act students:
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:

The nativist noise machine is gearing up for a vote on the DREAM Act after Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) announced he would introduce it as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act as early as next week.
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):

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I hope this is one of the last times Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has to make one of these DREAM Act speeches:

A statement from Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) on Senator John McCain (D-AZ) threats to block the DREAM Act:

Any American so courageous and patriotic that he or she wants to serve our country in the military should be able to do so. Senator McCain and anyone else who thinks the DREAM Act is not directly related to our national security should talk to the brave young men and women who want to defend our country but are turned away. And he should also talk to our military leaders in the Defense Department who have said that America's military readiness depends on recruiting as many well-qualified men and women as possible. The Defense Department's strategic plan explicitly states that passage of the DREAM Act is critical to helping the military 'shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.' And many of our generals in the field believe that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' harms troop morale and combat readiness.

Senator McCain should know better than anyone that patriots who step up to serve our grateful nation should be offered a path to citizenship, and that anyone who volunteers to serve should be welcomed regardless of their sexual orientation. I hope that he will do the right thing and support this bill that not only funds critical support for our troops like weapons upgrades and pay raises, but also ensures that our military reflects our nation's values.
Harry Reid (16 September 2010)

UPDATE 2: Here's video of Obama's speech:

UPDATE: Below I will paste the full remarks of President Obama at the CHC Gala tonight.  The part relevant to the DREAM Act is here:

And the Senate's going to have a chance to do the right thing over the next few weeks when Senator Reid brings the DREAM Act to the floor.  In the past, this was a bill that was supported by a majority of Democrats and Republicans.  There's no reason it shouldn't be again.  I've been a supporter since I was in the Senate, and I will do whatever it takes to support the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' efforts to pass this bill so that I can sign it into law on behalf of students seeking a college education and those who wish to serve in our country's uniform.

But look - to make real progress on these or any issues, we've got to break the Republican leadership's blockade.  Let's be clear about this. Without the kind of bipartisan effort we had just a few short years ago, we can't get these reforms across the finish line. But their leadership has made reaching 60 votes the norm for nearly everything the Senate has to do.  And the American people's business is on hold because, simply put, the other party's platform has been "no."
Barack Obama (15 September 2010)

If you haven't been on facebook, twitter, or following the news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that he would be introducing the DREAM Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted last week that Reid wanted to move the DREAM Act before November.  Now we know how Reid wants to move it.  The DREAM Act could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week.

The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

Dear Mr. President,

I am a member of the first graduating class of Felix Varela Senior High which is located in Miami, Florida. I had attended school with my native-born friends. Like them, I participated in activities, field trips, dances, and felt the pain of losing a classmate.
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.