The Republican-backed Hispanic Leadership Network is hosting a conference in Florida to "provide a unique opportunity for center-right leaders to speak with—and more importantly listen to—the Hispanic community," according to conference co-chair Jeb Bush. But the question on the minds of many political observers is: will the GOP finally hear what Latino voters have to say?
America’s Voice Research on Immigration Reform
The December 2010 DREAM Act debate in the House got really ugly really quick, with Reps. Steve King (R-IA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and others associating DREAM students with coyotes, drug smugglers, and murderers, and labeling the bill an "affirmative action amnesty." Their lies about the DREAM Act will have a real political cost for the GOP, if Senate Republicans allow them to define the Party on this issue. Read on for more on the role of the political consequences for the GOP if Republican senators oppose the DREAM Act.
Many talented young men and women who consider themselves American in every way are eager to serve America by either continuing their education and investing in our economy, or protecting our nation by serving in the military. The DREAM Act would provide them with this opportunity. Following is a selection of quotes from Republican leaders who support the DREAM Act.
For months, Republican Senators have been lining up excuse after excuse in an effort to obstruct a vote on the DREAM Act. But with the 111th Congress drawing to a close, the moment of truth will soon be here. Senators will have to decide if they stand on the side of talented young leaders and the broader Latino community, or with a small but vocal band of nativists and their darker view of America. Here are some of the most popular excuses Republican Senators have been citing as reasons to oppose DREAM, along with the actual facts behind them.
During the debate on the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives, Republicans attacking the bill called DREAMers "drug smugglers" and "lawbreakers," warned that they could bring "up to 179 relatives with them" if they were granted legal status, and said, "Let's wake up, America. Your country is being taken from you and being given to somebody else." This fact sheet collects the most offensive and inaccurate statements made by anti-DREAM Republicans during the House debate.
Ever since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he intended to keep his promise and bring DREAM up for a vote in the lame duck session of Congress, Republican senators—caught between their nativist wing and the need to appeal to a broader group of voters in 2012 and beyond--have been looking for excuse after excuse to avoid a vote. Included in this memo is a chart of current Republican senators who have supported the DREAM Act and/or comprehensive immigration reform (including DREAM) in the past.
A number of newspapers in states as diverse as Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Kansas have editorialized in favor of the DREAM Act this year. The DREAM Act is bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D‐IL) and Senator Richard Lugar (R‐IN), and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), that would give eligible young people who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to legalize their immigration status and work towards citizenship.
Latino voters delivered in 2010. In 2010, Latinos kept the Senate in Democratic hands and were a key factor in Democratic gubernatorial wins in California, Colorado, and Illinois, as well as a number of House races. In fact, were it not for the "Latino firewall" in the West, Democratic losses would have been much worse. In past wave elections, when one chamber of Congress changes parties, both chambers changed parties.