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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Should Watered-Down DREAM Act Pass?

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Romney and Gingrich both are backing a GOP-sponsored bill that would gut the DREAM Act to allow a path to permanent residency only for those joining the military. Going to college would not be an option. Senator Durbin, a big backer of the DREAM Act says he's not going to support this plan:

"I don't support that," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the lead Senate sponsor of the DREAM Act. "That will literally mean that those who came to this country at an innocent situation early in life have only one way to become legal, and that's to join the military. I want men and women to join the military out of a sense of duty and patriotism, rather than to feel they are desperate and have no other place to turn."

But other Democrats like Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are interested in discussing supporting the bill.

It's a tough call, but I've said many times in this blog that I support piecemeal immigration reform. We have virtually no pro-immigration legislation pass in this country since comprehensive immigration reform was introduced in 2004 and it is largely because pro-immigration groups have blocked everything in hopes of keeping up the pressure to pass a comprehensive bill. That strategy was a logical one, but only up to a point. Once it became clear a few years ago that even with the Democrats enjoying maximum power, Republicans would block comprehensive reform via the filibuster, this strategy should have been dropped (unless the Dems push through filibuster reform but unfortunately, they don't seem to have the will to do so).

I say take the deal and keep pushing for more.

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  1. gg's Avatar
    Beggars cannot be choosers and thats exactly the situation of dreamers. So take whatever you can get and beg for more later. As far as military is concerned US does not have any money to fight new wars and public may not support new adventures, so most probably these dreamers who would enlist in military will find themselves securing the border between US and Mexico. Not a bad deal at all.
  2. Eponymous's Avatar
    It is a life and death choice literally
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    DREAMers could serve in the military and then go to college on the GI bill could be a win win!
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Once they are in the military, can't they naturalize without even becoming LPRs (under the "time of war" clause)? I recon the issue is getting them into the military legally. Maybe that should be done through regulations.
  5. Another Voice's Avatar
    A line of would-be immigrants? There isn't one.
  6. Mark Fish's Avatar
    Hmmm. How is it that the Republicans could filibuster when the Democrats had a super majority in the Senate? The truth is that the Democrats promised CIR and didn't deliver. Perhaps you should just leave politics out of the discussion.
  7. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Mark - When did the Democrats every have 61 votes, the number that would have been needed? There have been more filibusters since the 2008 election than in the last 50 years. To say that the Democrats just let this happen is to ignore the facts. If the Democrats were guilty of anything it is not abolishing the filibuster when they had the chance. They naively assumed the GOP would use it sparingly as both parties have until the GOP became radicalized in the 2000s.
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