Back in November of 2010, of the first things Marco Rubio did after being elected to the United States Senate was announce his opposition to the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act “is not the right approach” to helping young undocumented immigrants, he said at the time. “In fact, it makes having a legal immigration system that works harder to accomplish.”
The legislation then got a vote in the lame duck session of Congress that took place before he took office. The House, under the leadership of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, passed the bill on December 8, 2010 by a vote of 216 – 198. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid secured a floor vote on December 18, 2010. The margin was 55-41, not enough to overcome a Republican-filibuster.
Those are the facts. It’s pretty clear cut — but apparently, not for Marco Rubio.
Yesterday, Rubio, who has yet to introduce his long-awaited version of the DREAM Act, tried to re-write the history of the DREAM Act. Like other Republicans have done, Rubio tried to claim that it was Democrats, not Republicans, who were to blame for the failure of the DREAM Act. As Fox News Latino wrote:
When asked about the changing stances Romney has taken on immigration reform, Rubio emphasized that President Obama has no right to criticize anyone on immigration. “His party controlled Congress for two years,” he said, “and they did absolutely nothing” to approve the DREAM Act – which would legalize undocumented students – or to move toward immigration reform.
Huh? We agree that President Obama and the Democrats should have done a lot more to pass immigration reform – but, Rubio’s version is a complete rewriting of history. DREAM didn’t pass in the Senate because of a GOP filibuster. For example, ABC’s headline was, Senate Republicans Block DREAM Act for Illegal Immigrants. Only three Republican Senators, Bennett, Lugar and Murkowski, voted with the DREAMers.
And, as we noted, Rubio was quite vocal in his opposition at the time.
Now, it must be frustrating for Rubio these days. He wanted to be on the GOP ticket, but wasn’t picked. And, he’s got to defend Romney’s immigration record, which includes that vow to veto the DREAM Act and the recent pledge to end the DREAM relief policy if he’s elected.
But, facts are still facts.
Now, back in December of 2010, we watched the Senate and House debates of the DREAM Act legislation. Marco Rubio should check them out. The videos are available on C-SPAN here and here. It would be good for Rubio to see just how vitriolic his GOP colleagues were about the DREAMers — and that, contrary to what he said yesterday, the Democrats DID try to pass the DREAM Act when they controlled Congress.