Harry Reid has been very vocal in his support for the passage of the DREAM Act and is vowing to keep the Senate around until they finish the work that they started.
Republicans have demanded a vote on tax cuts precede the other issues before the Senate. Among those issues pushed to the back burner are the New START treaty and the DREAM Act.
Reid wouldn't commit Monday to adjourning on Friday; he'd said last week that no senators were interested in working all the way until Christmas Eve, as the Senate did last year to pass the healthcare reform bill.
"We need to stay here until we finish," Reid said Monday.
Maybe the Senate can take a cue from the state of Texas -- that's right, Texas of all places -- and see how passing the DREAM Act has helped their state.
Texas law currently provides that all students, regardless of immigration status, may qualify for in-state tuition at Texas colleges or universities provided they have lived in Texas the three years leading up to high school graduation and resided in Texas the year prior to their enrollment in higher education.
The Texas Dream Act thus recognizes that immigrant students who have been educated in our Texas public schools have strong family, community and economic ties to the U.S. The state then follows through on the investment taxpayers have made in their education by allowing them to pay the same tuition rate as other Texans who meet the residency timeline requirements. These students have been admitted to colleges and universities based on their merit and despite the many obstacles with which they are confronted — a principle every Texan can appreciate. The law is both successful and popular because it reduces dropouts, encourages access to college and comes at little expense to the state...read on
Via email from Jackie I found out that big-time Spanish-language newscaster Jorge Ramos, who has 76.6k followers, has gotten behind the current push. You may have seen this tweet:
Last count, we are 4 votes short in the Senate for the #dreamact. I can't believe that 4 Senators will deny thousands so much
There is plenty that can still be done and I think the best use of our time is getting squishy Democrats to stand up and do the right thing.
And these Dems remain shaky or lean no's:
Nelson (NE) -- currently a no
Tester (MT) -- currently a no
Folks can call this line to randomly route to key Senate targets (both GOP/Dem): 866-587-6101
Including: McCaskill, Landrieu, Hagan, Bennett (UT), Murkowski, Voinovich, Collins, Snowe, LeMieux, Hutchison
Jackie also passed along this op-ed by a Republican saying that the GOP puts itself in peril if it opposes the DREAM Act.
That is true, but the nativists are running the GOP now and they will not see the sense and compassion needed to support the DREAM Act. Under Bush, hate-wing talk radio helped derail immigration reform. Karl Rove understood that the Latino community represents a huge new voting bloc in America and wanted to capitalize on it, but he obviously wasn't paying attention to his own base -- a base that usually marches in lockstep with the party elders, but racism and nativism are much more powerful elements in the GOP since movement conservatism began to dominate the GOP, because it intentionally enabled so much of the ugliness, and now has unleashed it and cannot control it. Add the Tea Party Birchers into the GOP stew along with an African American president and well, it gets very ugly.
Please place calls into Democratic offices that are needed to move this legislation along. It still can be passed if Democrats do the right thing.
UPDATE: Harry Reid pushed for cloture last night on DREAM and a vote will be held on Saturday along with hopefully DADT.
On the Senate floor just now, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the Senate will begin to vote as soon as Saturday on a bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That puts it ahead of the START treaty, as proponents of repeal had requested.
"We've got to move this all along," Reid said from the floor. Reid will also file for cloture on the DREAM Act. That means both bills should come up for a procedural vote on Saturday. The vote on the DREAM Act will come first, followed by the vote on DADT.
DKos lists the names and numbers again for you to call. See below the fold.
Update: As you know, getting 60 votes for cloture on the DREAM Act is going to be a nail biter. Please take a few minutes and call these Democratic Senators who are leaning no or have said they'll vote against it:
Max Baucus (MT) - (202) 224-2651
Kent Conrad (ND) - (202) 224-2043
Joe Manchin (WV) - (202) 224-3954
Nelson (NE) - (202) 224-6551
Mark Pryor (AR) - (202) 224-2353
Tester (MT) - (202) 224-2644
Kay Hagan (NC) - (202) 224-6342
Claire McCaskill (MO) - (202) 224-6154
Mary Landrieu (LA) - (202) 224-5824
Or you can call this number from Reform Immigration For America, that routes automatically to key targets: