DREAM Act: Is Harry Reid angling for Hispanic votes?
The timing of Senate majority leader Harry Reid's push for the DREAM Act raises questions about whether it is an attempt to curry favor with Hispanic voters in his home state as he battles 'tea party' candidate Sharon Angle.
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Reid's more recent move on the DREAM Act, of course, could also anger some independent voters enough to push them into Ms. Angle’s camp – something she is counting on. (The DREAM Act would grant legal status to immigrants younger than 36 who arrived in the US as children, have lived here for five years, and are currently either in college or serving in the military.)Skip to next paragraph
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Angle has already released a TV spot calling Senator Reid “the best friend an illegal alien ever had.”
Bringing the measure to a vote is putting other candidates in an uncomfortable position. Rep. Mark Kirk – a moderate Republican battling it out in Illinois for President Obama’s old Senate seat – has refused to take a stand on the bill, though he may have to vote on it. Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), a former sponsor of the act, has vowed to block it this time.
While pushing the DREAM Act now is clearly designed to get Hispanics out in big numbers – and voting for Democrats – in November, no one knows if the tactic will work or backfire. It allows Republicans – like minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who said the addition makes the defense bill “needlessly controversial" – to charge them with election-year maneuvering and politicizing a defense bill.
Meanwhile, despite the dim outlook for the measure, undocumented students and other supporters around the country are mobilizing to support it, with rallies in Florida and protests outside Republican Sen. Scott Brown's office in Massachusetts.