Will Republicans Kill the DREAM?

I nearly couldn’t believe it today when I read that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will attach a DREAM Act amendment to the hulking Defense Department bill next week.

It’s about time Democrats played hardball with the Republicans on immigration. The Defense bill is Congress’ favored pork product: it’s got a little something for everyone’s district. So congressional leaders won’t let it languish too long before they pass it.

I don’t care if it’s a cynical ploy by Democrats to get more votes in the November election, at least they are finally acting on their promise of immigration reform.

The DREAM Act provides a path to citizenship for young undocumented people that were brought to the United States before the age of 16. They would have to have resided in the United States for at least five years to qualify. In Reid’s amendment  they would also have to attend college for two years or join the military.

Now, let’s watch the Republicans try and kill this amendment. When asked whether Reid had the votes to pass the amendment, he said: “I sure hope so.” Senator Orrin Hatch a Republican from Utah, who co-sponsored the DREAM act in the past, is calling the move a “cynical political stunt.”

That’s a good one.

Hatch goes on to complain: “This defense bill shouldn’t be held hostage to unrelated measures that have no chance of becoming law. We need to keep working to regain the American people’s trust by securing the borders.”

Sooner or later, Congress will have to deal with the millions of people living here in the shadows. Seems like there’s no better time than the present.

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Melissa del Bosque is a staff writer and a 2016-17 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.

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