Thread: Obama leapfrogs GOP DREAM Act
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- 06-15-2012, 01:03 PM #1
Obama leapfrogs GOP DREAM Act
Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 06/15/2012
Obama leapfrogs GOP DREAM Act
By Greg Sargent
This could have far-reaching implications for the presidential race, and could complicate GOP efforts to make inroads among Latinos, a crucial constituency in key states Obama needs to offset Rust Belt losses:
The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.
The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.
The policy does not accomplish what the Dem DREAM Act would do — put young people who were brought here illegally on a path to citizenship — but it would effectively accomplish what Marco Rubio’s alternative was said to be geared towards accomplishing. As Steve Benen notes, this will be seen as a major policy breakthrough by progressives, and shows that Obama isn’t prepared to wait for Congress on the issue any longer.
Many Republicans have warned that the harsh immigration rhetoric during the GOP primary, which was echoed with particular stridency by Mitt Romney, is imperiling any hopes of making inroads among this constituency, whose share of the vote is growing and could be critical in states like Colorado and Nevada. Romney has said he would veto the Dem DREAM Act — which risked further alienating Lations — and the GOP DREAM Act (which doesn’t actually exist yet in the form of legislation) was widely seen as a way to begin reparing relations with them.
The question now is whether Republicans will be able to support the new initiative at all, now that Obama has put his name on it. Republicans will likely try to take credit for it by arguing that Rubio’s work on the DREAM alternative made this happen. But it was already unclear whether Republicans — Romney included — would have the room to back such an alternative, given the GOP base’s passions on the issue. So what many Republicans will likely do now is object to the new initiative on the basis of process, arguing that Obama’s end run around Congress represents tyranny and the like.
Romney had previously avoided taking a position on Rubio’s DREAM Act, presumably because of worries that supporting it would anger the right. Indeed, his lack of maneuvering room on the issue was captured by his own immigration adviser, Kris Kobach, a nationally respected voice on the right, who insisted that any initiative that grants citizenship to those who came here illegally should be a non-starter among conservatives.
But now Romney will likely be pressed to say whether he supports the new initiative, which means making a choice between the Kobach camp and the Rubio camp. The fact that this is now Obama’s iniative could make this choice even more politically complex. It’s a subject that should come up this weekend during Romney’s interview with Bob Schieffer.
Obama leapfrogs GOP DREAM Act - The Plum Line - The Washington PostNO AMNESTY
DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS
BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP