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‘Qué Pasa’ in Immigration: The Time Is Now for DREAM Act; Key Latino Legislators Meet with Obama

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As the lame-duck session of Congress approaches, the movement to pass the DREAM Act before the new Congress is seated in January gains steam. As an editorial from La Opinión and columns from Jorge Ramos and Maribel Hastings all call for the bill to pass, the eyes of the Latino media are on Washington–where Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez have announced their support for the bill, and Menendéz will meet with the President and other key Latino members of Congress at the White House today to discuss strategy on immigration legislation.

The time is now. La Opinión (Los Angeles) prints an editorial titled “The time is now” (“Aprovechar la oportunidad”) urging the outgoing, Democratic-majority Congress to pass the DREAM Act and legalize undocumented youth during the lame-duck session:

“This legislative session is filled with dozens of legislators who have either lost their reelection or are planning to retire. They have nothing to lose by doing the right thing and voting for a bill that will help the economy in the short and long term by preparing our country’s future labor force. And, at the same time, they will be strengthening the military.

“Political savvy and determination will be needed to pass this legislation. Opportunities exist to attach it to other bills if it appears that it cannot be approved on its own. With so much at stake , the time to act is now!”

Key Latino legislators meet with Obama today on immigration. La Opinión also reports on today’s White House meeting between President Barack Obama, Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and Democratic Members of Congress Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) to discuss the possibility of advancing immigration legislation. According to the paper, Menéndez said during a teleconference with conservative groups that:

“I would prefer to start with a real effort to pass immigration reform, and if we come to the conclusion that that doesn’t have the will and support, then I’m for voting on the DREAM Act.”