The last time the DREAM Act came up for a vote, in 2007, it did not pass, but 12 Republicans supported the measure. This time, Democrats aren’t sure if they will get any Republicans to support a cloture vote on the defense authorization bill.
On “don’t ask, don’t tell,” many Republicans have said they prefer to defer to the decisions of military leaders, a position echoed by the Angle campaign. This year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates came out in support of repealing the policy.
Republicans are nonetheless expected to attempt to block the addition of the DREAM Act, and potentially even purge the existing language on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” from the defense bill. Led by Arizona Sen. John McCain — a former champion of immigration reform who has tacked to the right on the issue this campaign season — they have been making the case against inclusion of both measures on the ground that they are not relevant to the bill.
Ah, so John McCain doesn't like the DREAM Act... Except that he did in 2008, when he tried to court the Latin@ vote!
But now that he's had to court the teabaggers to win his primary, all of a sudden he abandons comprehensive immigration reform and turns his back on the kids who need the DREAM Act to go to college, get work, and be productive American citizens.
And as Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote in a WaPo blog yesterday, it's just ridiculous for all these Republicans who supported the DREAM Act three years ago to now say Democrats are "playing politics" and somehow hurting The Pentagon... Especially when The Pentagon SUPPORTS this legislation!
The Dream Act would offer legal residency to unauthorized immigrant young people who, through no fault of their own, came with their parents and grew up here. But they must first complete two years of college or military service. These deserving young people are almost all culturally American, having gone to school here. American taxpayers have thus already invested in them, too. Now the young immigrants would pay back through military service or getting more education and joining the upper ranks of productive, taxpaying citizens.
Republican senators, however, say, as Arizona's Sen. John McCain (R) told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, that, by using the armed forces bill, Reid is cynically out to get votes "at the expense…of the men and women who are serving in the military."
That argument might hold more water were it not that the Pentagon itself favors the Dream Act, having helped draw it up in 2001 and including the projected recruits they would get through it in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan.
Moreover, McCain was among 12 Republicans who voted in 2007 for an identical cloture motion on an annual defense authorization bill that was scheduled to include a similar version of the Dream Act as an amendment.
Pathetic, isn't it?
And here's where it gets even worse. Most Senate Republicans seem determined to block DADT repeal, even though DADT hurts our national security and serves no purpose other than blatant discrimination. Doesn't our country deserve better? And don't all our brave soldiers deserve better?
Apparently, some Republicans think not. But again, our country and our security are at stake. This DADT policy serves no purpose, and a federal court has already ruled it unconstitutional. So why continue it?
But if we're to believe the GOoPers, this is all just "Harry Reid playing politics"... While they're the ones holding up the funding for our military, leaving many American kids' futures in limbo, and continuing an unconstitutional and dangerous discriminatory policy?