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April 1, 2015

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Reid hoping renewed interest in Dream Act will give party a boost

In 2010, Sen. Harry Reid got lots of campaign mileage from a Dream Act vote he scheduled just a few months before a crucial election: It didn’t pass, but Nevada’s Hispanic community remembered the effort -- and turned out to vote for Reid in droves.

This year, Reid’s thinking about holding a similar vote on the act to give Democrats what he hopes will be a boost -- or Republicans what he hopes will be a beat-down -- prior to November.

“It’s going to pass -- when we get a few Republicans to help us. Just a few,” Reid told the Sun last week, adding if that he couldn’t come up with enough Republicans, it was “very possible” he would hold a vote to get everyone on the record prior to November, as he did in 2010.

Reid championed the Dream Act last week when he hosted Daniela Pelaez, valedictorian from North Miami Senior High School and an undocumented immigrant. Brought to this country by her parents at age 4, the 18-year-old would likely qualify for the Dream Act, which seeks to put undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children, and have completed some college or military service, on a pathway to citizenship.

Pelaez received a deportation order earlier this year, but last week, was granted a two-year stay on her deportation order by the Department of Homeland Security, under new policies the Obama administration adopted over the summer.

Reid used Pelaez’s visit to stress his commitment to the Dream Act: a component of the greater immigration overhaul he and others -- mostly Democrats -- have been angling for.

But not all lawmakers -- nor all Democratic lawmakers -- echo his support as strongly; and the extent to which a vote on the legislation could help the members Reid’s caucus varies by location.

Lawmakers who have opposed the Dream Act have done so stressing fears about how it would encourage exponential immigration levels once the immigrants who benefit from it are able to sponsor other undocumented relatives for citizenship. Many of those lawmakers have been pushing for Congress to spin off other parts of comprehensive immigration reform -- the enforcement parts -- instead.

Similarly, Reid won’t be able to compel the House of Representatives to vote on the legislation by holding a vote on it in the Senate -- and that could dampen its potential effect on the campaign trail in his home state.

In the past, Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, has opposed the legislation, while Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is campaigning against Heller to fill that Senate seat, has supported it.

Reid says he has no plans to consider any potential part of a broader immigration package on its own except the Dream Act -- unless making a deal helps him push the Dream Act forward.

“I don’t intend to be spinning stuff off,” he said. “The only reason I would spin off any part of it is if I thought I could get an agreement that would help us get the Dream Act passed. I am not blind to what legislation is about, it’s about the art of compromise.

“But we need Republicans,” Reid stressed again. “I’d love to have a Republican come to me and say: here’s how we think it would improve their legislation.”

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  1. Thats our boy Harry, pandering to criminal invaders!!

  2. Dream Act = 4 years military service only no school credit and a waiver of being able to bring family in once a green card or citizenship is issued. Mexico is south for those who do not want to agree to these terms, and the parents should be deported once a green card is issued.

  3. Since Obama is welcoming all the lawbreakers with open arms by not deporting them and allowing an open border, why do we need this bad law anyway??

  4. If I read this article correctly, Senator Harry Reid has made a pattern of using the DREAM ACT as a political prop and tool to garner votes by career politicians. He already knows that this act is very poorly crafted and won't fly with either Houses.

    But it sure gets attention, especially when it suddenly appears during an ELECTION cycle. Oh, he's doing something for innocent and vulnerable illegal children. He's making a show of it. The DREAM ACT will remain a dream, and a way to hook the sympathies of those who cannot connect the dots sadly.

    Enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books. Compell immigrants to become naturalized citizens if they desire to stay and become a part of the American Dream. My Mother's parents became citizens legally and this is the way it should be. Follow our established laws!

    Blessings and Peace,

  5. my Dad used to say (and he passed away over 10 years ago - as a native Californian who saw SoCal go from memorable to forgettable all in the period of a decade). We should just drop the borders, and annex Mexico to the U.S. - contingent upon our acquisition of the rights to Mexico's crude oil reserves (4th in the world if my facts are correct). That way the DEMs have their way and EVERYONE gets to be an American and the REPs get more oil to tax and speculate with and make money off of it, and we the people, will really notice no difference at all.

    This whole illegal alien thing just DISGUSTS ME. My grandparents emigrated here through Ellis Island in 1926, were a benefit (and not a drain on society), and had offspring that were citizens. The current thinly veiled argument that I belong here because were I currently live sucks......holds NO WATER....too bad. YOU DON'T BELONG HERE IF YOU CAME HERE ILLEGALLY.

  6. I understand what Mr. Reid is saying but, unfortunately, historical pressure is against both the Republican and Democratic parties. Both parties have dismal race records and even more dismal futures.

    If the Hispanics are smart they will chuck both parties and form one of their own while reaching out to all other people in Nevada for support. They would dominate Southern Nevada elections for the future.