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DREAM Act Recap: Rohrabacher Tweets Back, DREAM Moves to Senate, and Timing Is Everything

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 12/13/2010 at 11:13am

The mainstream media has done a pretty lousy job reporting what’s next for the DREAM Act, writes Marisa Treviño of Latina Lista.

She cuts reporters some slack, however, noting:

After the Democrats in the Senate decided yesterday to vote no against a cloture vote on the DREAM Act, several news outlets erroneously reported that the bill was dead.

It’s not. In fact, it was the smartest move the Democratic leadership could have made. Now, the Senate can just vote on the House DREAM Act bill that was passed rather than try and do the whole process over again in the Senate with a Senate version.

Surprisingly, learned journalist organizations didn’t understand the nuances of this tactic. They should have. Yet, once again in the quest to be first in breaking news, these journalist organizations disregarded the basic tenet of journalism — accuracy. But maybe they can’t be fully blamed.

If ever there was an issue constantly lobbed at with distortions and falsehoods, the DREAM Act bill is one.

Time and time again, I have pointed out on Latina Lista that opposition voiced against this bill continuously distorts the truth to scare, confuse and mislead anyone who would be sympathetic to it.

Yet, there’s nothing to be afraid of if these students are granted the opportunity to attend school or the military and join the U.S. workforce. It’s been calculated by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation that “enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $2.2 billion over the 2011-2020 period.”

Add Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to the top of that list of DREAM distortionists — he even entered into a “tweet war” with DREAM youth over the weekend.

Think Progress quotes the Representative from California in “Rep. Rohrabacher Suggests White People Will ‘Lose Our Freedom’ If The DREAM Act Passes:”

“Please alert the people, if Americans aren’t alerted to this, we’re going to lose our freedom and we know it’s in jeopardy right now.”

Wow. The piece concludes:

Of course, the DREAM Act is not amnesty, nor is it affirmative action, and it is certainly not a measure to oppress white people. The bill extends conditional legal status for five years to young people who are upstanding citizens and in this country illegally by not fault of their own. It will also help enforce immigration laws, reduce the deficit, and strengthen the military, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Rohrabacher or Beck.

One article this week does get the politics right (in terms of what happened in the House, and what’s next in the Senate). Mike Lillis reports for The Hill today in, “To get DREAM Act over its first hurdle, timing was everything:”

When House Democrats last week passed the DREAM Act before the Senate had staged its vote, the timing was no accident.

Instead, the chronology was part of a carefully designed strategy — orchestrated, with some tension, between the two chambers — to grant the proposal its greatest shot at success.
The fast-evolving process required behind-the-scenes scheduling changes; an 11th hour hearing; constant lobbying from supporters; and a risky-but-successful show of procedural gymnastics in the Senate — all aimed at lending momentum to the hot-button bill in hopes of enacting it by month’s end.

In short, supporters say, the process has infused life into the policy.

It’s worth reading the entire piece, but in short, DREAM Act supporters are warming up for what is sure to be another incredible fight in the Senate. Timing will again be critical, but nothing (repeat, nothing) is off the table. The DREAM Act’s biggest fight is up ahead, and we are closer than we’ve ever been to making it reality.

Here’s a parting video from young people who walked 1,500 miles for their DREAMs:

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