Thursday, June 20, 2024

Last Ditch Effort for DREAM Act

Don’t count the DREAM Act dead yet.  Supporters of the law aren’t giving up and have focused their efforts on 10 members of the Senate that could push the legislation through.

The Senators make up a “most wanted” list that was released Tuesday by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and includes three Democrats and seven Republicans.

“We don’t want them to be able to hide behind closed doors,” NHLA Chairwoman Lillian Rodríguez-López said. “We need them to let us know where they stand.”

The lawmakers being targeted are Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Claire McCaskill (MO), and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, George Voinovich (Ohio) and George LeMieux (Fla.).

They made the list because either they have supported the DREAM Act in the past or because the states they represent have significant Hispanic populations.

“Senator Hagan is committed to achieving practical, bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, hold employers accountable for their hiring practices, and strengthen our guest worker system,” spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said in an e-mail. “Senator Hagan believes the DREAM Act should be considered in the context of comprehensive immigration reform.”

One of the 10 on the NHLA list has voiced his support for the bill already.  A spokesperson for Sen. Lugar said on Friday that the Republican from Indiana would vote for the proposal if it comes up as a stand-alone.  Lugar has been a leading sponsor of past versions of the bill.  Another Republican, Robert Bennett from Utah has expressed similar sentiments.

Last week, the bill passed its second to last hurdle by winning passage in the House.  Now, the Senate is expected to take up the legislation either this week or next.

The Hill