Momentum is building for the DREAM Act to be passed during this year’s Lame Duck session of Congress.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon to talk about the chances of getting comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session, a House Democratic source said.
Immigration advocates want to know how much the White House supports a vote on either bill in the next few weeks. Menendez said on a conference call with reporters Monday that the White House is “ready and willing” to talk about immigration.
The news comes after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed her desire to see a DREAM Act vote as soon as possible:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could bring the DREAM Act to the floor as early as this week. The measure provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who attend college for two years or join the military.
Notably, key Republican voices have also spoken up for DREAM in recent days, such as Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who yesterday called on Speaker Pelosi to schedule a vote on the legislation this year; Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who noted her support for moving DREAM in an interview with Univision; and incoming Representative David Rivera (R-FL), who told Jorge Ramos that he supports the DREAM Act on Al Punto.
The leading figure on Spanish-language television, Univision’s Jorge Ramos has also penned a column (in Spanish) reminding both parties that the DREAM Act is a practical and common-sense approach to strengthening America’s future both economically and militarily, while living up to our best traditions as a nation of immigrants.
Last night MSNBC did a special immigration “Townhall” event, which featured a young Arizona DREAM engineer, who wanted to serve in the military but was blocked from doing so, as a result of his status.