According to the Huffington Post, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has pledged to hold a vote on the so-called DREAM Act, a bill which would allow some undocumented young people to assume legal status. Previously, Reid and other Senate Democrats had tried to slip the measure into a defense authorization bill along with a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. But a Republican filibuster halted the bill, ending the chances the measure would be voted on before the November midterm elections.
Univision's Jorge Ramos recently interviewed Reid and says the senator promised to hold the vote, "win or lose." The prospects of the measure's passage are exciting liberal immigration activists who have been pushing for comprehensive immigration reform from the Democrat-controlled Congress and White House. HuffPo reports:
"The DREAM Act would give a group of young immigrants here without immigration status through no fault of their own the chance to attend college, serve in the military and earn citizenship,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice. “These valedictorians, future scientists and future soldiers are Americans in all but paperwork, and we are thrilled that Senator Reid is committed to moving this common-sense measure before the end of the year.”
“We support and will be looking for viable efforts to pass the DREAM Act after the election,” said Center for American Progress Vice President for Immigration Policy Advocacy Angela Kelley. “In order for that to happen however, like-minded Republicans will have to step forward and show their support for this modest measure to provide relief to young people. There hasn’t been a lot to suggest that bipartisan constructive conversation on immigration is possible, but I’d love to be proven wrong.”
Depending on the outcome of Tuesday's elections, Reid and a number of other Democratic senators may be on their way out. Reid's opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, has used Reid's support for the DREAM Act to drive some voters into her camp. One of her campaign ads characterizes the DREAM Act as giving "preferred college tuition rates" to illegal immigrants.
Regardless of what happens Tuesday, however, it looks like the DREAM Act will be on the Senate's lame-duck docket.