Saturday, June 15, 2024

President Obama Backs Push to Pass DREAM Act During Lame Duck Session

The President met with Hispanic lawmakers Tuesday afternoon and said he will support their efforts to pass the DREAM Act during the current lame duck session.

The immigration legislation would provide a path for legalization for undocumented students who were brought into the United States illegally by their parents as minors if they pursue higher education or serve in the military.

“It is not the time to hesitate or be unclear about what we are fighting for,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) in a statement following the meeting. “We need the DREAM Act. I see it as a down payment on comprehensive reform and we will continue working towards comprehensive immigration reform today, tomorrow, and until it passes. But I will not pass up the chance to save a million or more children who grew up in the U.S., who know no other country, and who are threatened with deportation unless we act.”

The meeting was also attended by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).  The trio presented a strategy that includes adding the DREAM Act with the National Defense Authorization Act.  A previous attempt, as reported by La Plaza, failed when Democrats attempted to put the DREAM Act and a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with the defense authorization bill.  Republicans blocked the measure, even though the Defense Department is in favor of it, with a procedural vote on the grounds that the two measures were unrelated to the larger legislation.

A vote now may be the only chance of passing the measure before a Republican controlled House convenes next year.

A White House press release said “The President repeated his hope that, with the election season’s pressures past, Congressional Republicans would work with their Democratic colleagues not only to strengthen security at the nation’s borders, but also to restore responsibility and accountability to what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.

Huffington Post