The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

High stakes for the DREAM Act in the lame duck

As Congress begins the lame-duck session, both houses are under increasing pressure to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow some undocumented young

Tom Mohamed
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Nov 16, 2010

As Congress begins the lame-duck session, both houses are under increasing pressure to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow some undocumented young people to gain legal status by attending college or serving in the military. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who is retiring at the end of this session, called today for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the bill up for a vote before the end of the year.

“Allowing undocumented students to attend primary and secondary schools but requiring that they pay out-of-state tuition for college creates an unfair financial burden that many, even very talented, students cannot overcome,” Diaz-Balart said in a press release. “We should stop hampering these deserving students’ educational opportunities due to the decisions of their parents and allow a vote on the American DREAM Act.”

I explain some of the votes up in the air in our preview of the lame-duck session today. Pelosi has said she hopes to call for a vote on the bill, as has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). But so far, it’s unclear whether the Democratic leadership has the votes to pass the bill, with some members of the Democratic caucus likely to break with the party to vote against the bill.

For immigrant rights groups, the stakes are high: If the DREAM Act cannot pass with Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate, it will almost certainly be delayed until at least 2013, when Democrats could again take control of Congress. Immigrant rights groups are stepping up their efforts by staging protests and lobbying politicians to vote for the bill.

One reason supporters want the bill passed this year, beyond the obvious desire to provide more immediate relief to undocumented immigrants, is to prevent further problems with the DREAM Act’s age constraints. The current bill would allow undocumented immigrants who had attended two years of college or served in the military for two years to gain legal status if they had a clean permanent record and were under the age of 35.

For some, that age sounds too high — people who are in their 30s may no longer be students, whom the bill is theoretically meant to help. But Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chief sponsor of the bill, said in October he wants to help those the bill was initially aimed at when it first came up in 2001 — some of whom may now be reaching the upper age limits of the bill.

If the bill is delayed, future efforts could raise the upper age cutoff — at the risk of losing some votes — or would no longer benefit those immigrants, some of whom have been advocating for the bill for years.

Tom Mohamed | I understand and respect the confidence my clients put in me as a Colorado native and seasoned real estate professional, and I strive to meet their standards every day. For over 11 years, I have been a top producer. Prior to joining the real estate industry, I served in the US Army Infantry, including several tours in Iraq and Kuwait. These experiences taught me the discipline needed to create Colorado's most powerful real estate team.

Related

Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging

In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.

EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’

All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com