Friday, December 17, 2010

DREAM Act has a date with destiny- Saturday

After pulling the trillion-dollar Omnibus package from the Senate floor last night, Harry Reid (D-NV) announced the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors) will be voted on during a Saturday Senate session.

Lawmakers on both sides are gearing up for an-all out battle.

“The Senate’s consideration of the DREAM Act is absolutely ridiculous and illustrates exactly why Americans are frustrated with their government. This is too important a policy to address during a lame duck session of Congress, not to mention the bill itself is an insult to every person going through the immigration process legally. When President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get serious about immigration reform, Congressman Bilbray and the bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus are prepared to meet with them,” said Travis Considine, director of communications for Congressman. Bilbray (R-CA).

However, the other side believes their arguments are more compelling than conventional wisdom.

“Allowing immigrant students to continue their education and achieve their potential will boost the economy and result in higher tax revenues. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that the DREAM Act ‘would reduce deficits by about $2.2 billion over the 2011-2020 period.’ Over the course of their working lives, these young people will generate between $1.4 and $3.6 trillion for the economy. Deporting them will increase the deficit by many billions of dollars,” National Immigration Forum said.

However, the organization fails to note the DREAM Act will cost taxpayers $6.2 billion per year in tuition subsidies, according to Center for Immigration Studies.

After the historic November elections politicians were introduced to the Tea Party movement and will, at least, consider their positions on a broad spectrum of policy issues, including amnesty.

The SoCal Patriot Coalition (SCPC), which umbrellas 30 different Tea Party groups had a lot to say about the DREAM Act legislation.

“The DREAM Act would grant legalization and protected status to millions of illegal aliens at a time of record economic turmoil and unemployment in the U.S. We also have a deadly drug war raging on our southern border highlighted again this week with the brutal murder of Border Patrol agent in Arizona by heavily armed Mexican smugglers, at least one of whom was a twice deported Mexican drug cartel member,” the group said.

“An estimated one million illegal aliens have returned to their home countries over the past few years. Some of them will now apply and wait to enter the U.S. legally. We applaud these foreigners for complying with U.S. laws and returning to their countries of residence. We encourage all remaining illegal aliens to also return to their home countries to avoid the consequences and hardship should they be encountered by U.S. law enforcement or federal immigration agents,” SoCal Patriots finished.

Nevertheless, National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino rights group is calling for the Senate to pass the legislation or risk losing a powerful new voting block.

“The benefits of this modest proposal are clear and the issues that held it up have been addressed. Now the Senate must desist from blocking this debate,” said Janet MurguĂ­a president and CEO of NCLR. “There is nowhere left to hide. It is time for senators of both parties to take a stand and do what is in the best interest of our community, our economy, and our country.”

According to Alabama's Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the DREAM Act would do more than help a million illegal immigrant children.

“Aliens granted amnesty by the DREAM Act will have the legal right to petition for entry of their family members, including their adult brothers and sisters and the parents who illegally brought or sent them to the United States, once they become naturalized U.S. citizens. In less than a decade, this reality could easily double or triple the 2.1 million green cards that will be immediately distributed as a result of the DREAM Act,” he explained.

Senate Majority Leader Reid is happy the DREAM Act will finally receive a vote as a stand alone piece of legislation during the lame-duck session.

“I filed cloture on two important bills tonight,” Reid said. “We will soon vote on a bill that provides young people brought here by their parents with a path to citizenship through academic achievement or military service.”

The DREAM Act, passed in Congress with a vote of 216-198 on Dec. 8, and is expected to have a tough time passing in the Senate, especially with an emboldened GOP.

Former GOP political figurehead, Patrick J. Buchanan, thinks the Republicans should be pushing for a moratorium on all immigration, until the unemployment rate falls to five-or-six percent. “Charity begins at home,” he said. “Ought we not take care of our own jobless first before we invite in strangers to take their jobs?”

Buchanan points to unemployment figures as an indicator why America may want to slow its immigration program in his column this week. “In the April-May-June quarter, foreign-born workers in the U.S. gained 656,000 jobs. And native-born Americans lost 1.2 million. From July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, foreign-born Hispanics gained 98,000 construction jobs, native-born Hispanics lost 133,000 and black and white U.S. construction workers lost 511,000 jobs.”

The DREAM Act is a contentious piece of legislation and advocates for both sides pounded the Senate halls, during a snowstorm today, each looking to change the mind of lawmakers before they vote tomorrow.

“I saw at least eight different groups carrying American flags and cheat sheets trying to emotionally appeal to Senators and vote in favor of the DREAM Act,” says Gene Nelson Ph.D. and DREAM Act proponent.

“What Americans and lawmakers need to understand is the DREAM Act offers no numerical caps and no sunset, and that’s why I took to the Senate halls today,” Nelson said after visiting 25 offices. “It’s a zero-sum game when it comes to jobs- American's lose and illegal’s win.”

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© Copyright 2010 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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