Breaking Developments on the DREAM Act
At the urging of Latino groups, and to jump start Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Sen. Reid has apparently opted for a down payment approach, with DREAM being the first building block toward future comprehensive reforms. AGJOBS will likely be the next step.
The DREAM Act will become the DREAM Amendment to a Department of Defense bill. He also plans on two other amendments: (2) a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and (3) an overhaul of the "secret hold" tradition in the Senate to require public-disclosure moving forward. There has been some language in the DoD legislative plans, such as their Strategic Goals in December 2009 [(“as well as the DREAM initiative”)];
see, e.g.: http://prhome.defense.gov/DOCS/FY2010-12%20PR%20Strategic%20Plan%20(Final%20Public)(4%20January).pdf (at page 8).
This trio of amendments faces two main hurdles: Tuesday the 21st with a cloture vote to proceed, and sometime between late-Wednesday through Friday, with a cloture vote to amend each one to the main bill. A successful cloture roll call would be 60, preventing a filibuster.
Obviously, there will be many details to come. I will be in Wuhan, PRC, to speak on developments in the field of Sec. 529 prepaid college tuition from the 23rd through the 29th . (Maybe I should have left town earlier.)
This was first a small trickle: see the Attachment from La Opinion, above, picked up by Roll Call in July.
Sen. Reid made some comments on the issue at the Netroots Nation Conference in Las Vegas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eoQXsh24Ac
Julia Preston reported on the withholding of removal for DREAM Act students who came to DOJ attention: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/us/09students.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
A few reporters have broken the more recent news: See, e.g.,
Spanish-language media broke the news before the mainstream press did: See,e.g., http://colorlines.com/archives/2010/09/dream_act_on_the_move.html
See also: http://www.latinalista.net/palabrafinal/2010/09/for_the_sake_of_the_dream_act_students_l.html
On the 14th, the Chronicle e-version had a brief mention:
On September 15, 2010, InsideHigherEd.com carried a short piece: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/09/15/qt#238171
CSpan carried the news: http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/09/14/HP/A/38117/Senate+Democrat+and+Republican+Conferences.aspx
And Sen. John McCain, who took a walk on the 2007 DREAM Act vote, even though he had been an earlier supporter, had this to say:
Of course, all of this comes as my formerly-authoritative Wayne Law Review piece breaks into print, submitted to the press in May, and where I presciently predicted this would not happen. I will never have been so happy to have been wrong, should this come to pass. It is attached. Do I think that this is a cynical ploy, to attach several losing propositions to a DoD bill to shore up the base? Shocked, shocked I would be if that turned out to be the case. See, eg., Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1942): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583 .
Michael A. Olivas