Ignore the disinformation: DREAM Act remains on track for Senate vote Monday
There was a lot of disinformation floating about yesterday regarding the DREAM Act's progress in the Senate, including Megyn Kelly and Shannon Bream on Fox, repeating long disproven canards about the legislation -- embodied, perhaps, by the chryon running with the report calling the act "sweeping immigration reform" (in reality, this law is very limited in its reach and scope, and falls far short of anything even remotely like comprehensive reform). Both of them characterized it (second-hand, of course) as "amnesty" -- which is how they describe any path to citizenship for brown people.
Then there was CNN, which filed the following bulletin:
-- Senate Democrats cancel vote on DREAM Act, meaning the immigration measure is likely dead for the year.
Ah, not quite. In reality, as Carl Hulse reported in the NYT:
Senate Democrats on Thursday pulled a measure that would allow illegal immigrant students to earn legal status through education or military service after Republicans refused to allow a vote on a version of the legislation that had cleared the House on Wednesday.
Rather than try to break a Republican filibuster against the Senate’s so-called Dream Act, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, instead forced a vote to call off the attempt, presumably so he could try again later. Democrats prevailed on the motion to table the legislation, 59-40.
Ishita at Restore Fairness explains:
Since the Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block all bills until the issue of tax cuts was resolved, Sen. Reid made a motion to table the cloture vote on the DREAM Act that was otherwise scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM this morning. By tabling it, the Senate Democrats will be able to bring the version of the bill that has already been passed in the House, up for a vote in the coming week, once the other issues have been resolved. Immigrant rights advocates now have additional time to build on the momentum created by the House victory yesterday, and work on getting more Senate support for the DREAM Act, so that when it does finally come up for a vote, it can have the same success that it had in the House of Representatives.
Here's Jackie Mahendra at America's Voice, reporting yesterday:
After the historic victory yesterday in the House of Representatives, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a bold move today to shelve a vote on the Senate's original version of the DREAM Act, scheduled to be voted on today. In doing so, he paved the way for the Senate to take up the House-passed version of the bill in the next few weeks.
Essentially, Senate leadership just breathed new life into the DREAM Act.
Faced with lock-step Republican opposition to deal with anything before tax cuts, today’s scheduled cloture vote on the motion to proceed was widely predicted to fail, which would have doomed the DREAM Act this year.
Here's a reaction from the national United We Dream Network, who have been lobbying all week in Washington:
The DREAM Act must now gather critical support from a number of Senators still sitting on the fence, both Democrats and Republicans. Having more time between votes gives us time to shift our focus from the House to the Senate and make sure our voices are heard.
Some republicans have blurred the debate by painting a negative portrayal of undocumented students. Senator Sessions took to the Senate to claim that DREAM-eligible people would buy fake diplomas online. Our lives are real and our diplomas are real. We need Senators to rise above the fakeness and get real, the time for DREAM is now. We urge everybody who has ever supported the DREAM Act to take time to make some phone calls and urge senators to vote YES on DREAM. As Representative John Lewis shared last night, “The time is always right to do what is right”.
The DREAM Act has traditionally been a bipartisan measure that has attracted real Republican backing. In 2007, eleven Republican Senators voted for the DREAM Act, and seven of them are still in office: Lugar, Bennett, Brownback, Hutchison, Snowe, Collins, and Hatch. In 2003, Republican Senators Kyl, Grassley, and Cornyn voted for the measure in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Last night, eight Republican representatives voted for the bill. What’s needed in the Senate is for Republicans to shift from posturing on process to negotiating a bill that can pass next week.
We'll also be keeping up the pressure on a handful of shaky Democrats who still refuse to invest in America's future.
All in all this gives DREAM a better chance in passing, especially when considering that there are Senators on the fence who do not want to be targeted and be in the spotlight twice. And obviously this gives advocates, activists, and you more time to call and ask that DREAM be supported. (via VivirLatino)
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