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This week, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock announced his plans to run against Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Senate race. Despite his great “respect” for Senator Lugar, Mourdock cites a litany of “reasons” he has chosen to challenge the long-time senator. A number of them include Senator Lugar’s attempts to forge bipartisan consensus to get things done. Near the top of the list, according to Mourdock, is Lugar’s work on the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to earn legal status if they graduate from high school and enroll in college or the U.S. military.
Let me get this straight — Mourdock is challenging Senator Lugar for being too ‘bipartisan’ and being one of the very few who are attempting to get things done in Washington?
What is equally disturbing is that Mourdock would single out Senator Lugar’s work on the DREAM Act as a ‘reason’ to challenge him. When was it ever a bad thing to allow bright and talented young people to enroll in college or serve in the military, in the only country they know as home?
This is a classic example of a politician (Mourdock, in this case) using immigration as a wedge issue. This is in sharp contrast to a number of Indiana leaders who have rallied around common sense approaches like the ones that Senator Lugar embraces.
Recently, leaders such as the Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, President of Marian University, mayors, and members of the business community endorsed the Indiana Compact as a pragmatic approach to the problem of illegal immigration, focused on solutions The principles of the Compact stress the need for federal action on common sense immigration reforms that respect the rule of law, promote family unity, and strengthen the economy—principles that are in line with Senator Lugar’s work on behalf of the DREAM Act.