The Dream Act

The news that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) endorsed Mitt Romney for President has led to another round of pundit speculation about Rubio’s vice presidential prospects, which Rubio demurely “rejects.” But the chatter continues because some within the GOP apparently think that adding Rubio to the ticket could help the Party recover from its free-fall with Latino voters. They ignore two inconvenient truths:

Earlier this week, The Hill newspaper reported that Senate Republicans, led by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), are pursuing an alternative, stripped down version of the DREAM Act in an attempt to improve the Party’s standing with Latino voters. Among the likely provisions in the Republicans’ version is a path to legalization that stops short of providing citizenship to young people who would qualify for the legislation.

Yesterday, Miami-area high school valedictorian Daniela Pelaez and her sister, Dayana, came to Washington to meet with U.S. Representatives and Senators from Florida. The sisters, both of whom would benefit from the DREAM Act, recently won an administrative reprieve from deportation for two years.

Yesterday, in Phoenix, AZ, undocumented youth and allies with the DRM Capitol Group, the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition and others delivered approximately 8,000 petitions to the Arizona Republican Party headquarters, urging Republican candidates to stop opposing the DREAM Act and to change their rhetoric on immigration.

Last night, DREAM Act eligible undocumented youth and allies – including civil rights icon and co-founder of United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta – made their presence known outside of the GOP presidential candidate’s debate in Phoenix. Standing in front of a massive banner which read: “DREAM Act Now” and holding signs saying “Veto Romney, Not the DREAM Act,” undocumented youth protested Governor Mitt Romney’s pledge to veto the DREAM Act and his intention to force nearly every undocumented person out of the country if he becomes President.

The issue of immigration is a hot topic in Florida due to the contentious Spanish-language ad wars between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, interviews on Spanish language TV with the top GOP contenders, and the upcoming Hispanic Leadership Network forum hosted by, among others, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Why is it that Republican politicians in Nevada can’t learn from recent history when it comes to Latino voters and the politics of immigration? In a key development for one of the 2012 cycle’s most prominent Senate battleground races, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) used the occasion of a meeting with Hispanic community leaders last Friday to reiterate his opposition to the DREAM Act and birthright citizenship.

On a press call today, experts on Latino voters, the politics of immigration, and the DREAM Act highlighted how Mitt Romney's recent pledge to veto the DREAM Act will imperil his chances in the general election. Romney's comments sit right at home with the GOP field, which has continued to stick to a strategy of tacking to the hard right on immigration throughout the primary season. However, as speakers discussed today, findings from an updated America's Voice report suggest that this strategy only serves to threaten the GOP's chances in the general election.

Washington, DC – Last week, Mitt Romney offered a fresh reminder that his pandering to the far right on immigration during the primary season will hurt his potential general election chances. In response to a question in Le Mars, IA, Romney pledged that he would veto a federal DREAM Act if the legislation passed Congress while he was President. His comments were widely reported in Spanish media and put the nail in the coffin of any hope Romney may have had of competing for Latino voters in the general election.

The DREAM Act is a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for young students who have lived in the U.S. nearly their whole lives, who were brought here through no fault of their own. It would help educate the next generation of Americans, would generate tax dollars from improved wages, and would spur enlistment in the Armed Forces. The DREAM Act makes so much sense that even conservatives have supported it -- here's what they've had to say.

The Obama Administration’s announcement that it will bring its deportation practices in line with common sense law enforcement priorities has generated overwhelmingly positive reactions from editorial boards across the nation. They are lauding this step as sensible, humane, and smart law enforcement policy—and reminding Congress that it needs to do its job and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, on today’s announcement from the Obama Administration about bringing deportation practices in line with enforcement priorities.