Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy
Navarrette: Rubio's DREAM Proposal Worth a Look
I'm glad I'm not the only pro-immigrant writer taking the Democrats and pro-immigration groups to task for condemning Marco Rubio's coming DREAM Act proposal without even having seen the language. Ruben Navarrette, Jr. writes a great piece for CNN that is pretty tough on Democrats for already rejecting what may be a very reasonable bill.
While we don't know the details yet, insiders believe it look very similar to past DREAM Act proposals but not include the opportunity to get a green card and eventual citizenship. Beneficiaries would get an indefinite legal status and the ability to work, however.
He argues that some Democrats may be opposing the bill for partisan reason - either a fear of helping Republicans curry favor with Latino voters or anger that DREAM Act beneficiaries won't get the right to become future Democratic voters. I think the former is more likely than the latter, but for some it probably factors in to their calculations. He also reminds Democrats that if you actually asked potential DREAM Act recipients what to do, most would urge Democrats to take the deal.
If you want to look at this politically, the President and Democrats should do what President Clinton did in 1996 when Republicans brought up a welfare reform bill. President Clinton embraced the proposal as did a number of Democrats and history now largely credits President Clinton for that law rather than it's original Republican backers. A big signing ceremony at the White House would certainly cement the bill as President Obama's. Democrats should not make the mistake of passing on a pro-immigration bill simply because it does not deliver everything they want.