According to the Majority Leader’s office, Senator Harry Reid now plans to bring the Dream Act up for a vote as a stand-alone measure after Thanksgiving recess.
Stay tuned for more details on timing as they develop.
Last week, thousands of you sent letters thanking Sen. Reid for not backing down from his promise to move forward on the popular, bipartisan measure. Thank you. Your voices are making a difference. We look forward to working with the Senator to make the DREAM Act a reality in the coming weeks.
UPDATE [8:30 PM EST]: The New York Times‘ Caucus blog notes:
During his re-election campaign in Nevada, Mr. Reid said he would try again to pass the legislation, known as the Dream Act. And in a Twitter message on Wednesday evening, his office said he would try to do so in the current session as a stand-alone bill.
The DREAM Act, introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), as well as Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support. In the 108th Congress, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-3 in favor of the DREAM Act, with support from current Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (who helped draft the legislation), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and John Cornyn (R-TX). The DREAM Act was also part of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate in 2006, after being included as an amendment in the Judiciary Committee by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Twenty-three Republican Senators voted for the 2006 bill (eleven of whom are still in the Senate).
According to Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post:
Democrats would need to peel off two Republican votes to beat back a filibuster. Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) has previously said that he would vote for the bill as a standalone and, having lost his GOP primary, can vote freely on the measure. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is also retiring in a few weeks time. A number of Republicans supported the measure in 2007, though that was several lifetimes ago in political terms.
According to America’s Voice Deputy Director, Lynn Tramonte:
By deciding to bring up the DREAM Act on its own, Senator Reid is offering an olive branch to Republicans who had objected to voting on it as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill. We now expect those Republicans who signaled support for the DREAM Act on its own to come forward and work with Democrats to pass this important legislation. By passing the DREAM Act, Congress has a chance to show that it can rise above the heated rhetoric of the campaign season, work on a bipartisan basis, and allow these talented young people to reach their full potential.
America is the land of opportunity, where every individual has a chance to succeed on her own merits. The DREAM Act was crafted in that spirit: giving immigrant youth a chance to go to college, serve in the military, and give back to this great nation. Congress should do the right thing, and pass the DREAM Act now.