Immigration Measure Vote This Week
By: Manuel Quinones from Washington, DC on Dec 6, 2010
Length: 1:47 (1.63MB)

Congress is likely to vote this week on a high-profile immigration reform measure. As Manuel Quinones reports from Capitol Hill, the Dream Act will likely fall short despite South Florida Republican support.



The Dream Act provides a path to legalization to illegal immigrants who came to America as children provided they go to college or serve in the military. Having failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform during their watch, Democratic leaders are pushing for at least the Dream Act component to become law.

DIAZ-BALART - “On the merits of the Dream Act, I support it. But what they are doing is not serious , is not leadership, is not real.”

South Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, like many Republicans, blames Democrats for the lack of debate on broad, comprehensive immigration reform.

DIAZ-BALART – “Despite the fact that they had these huge vote margins in both the House and Senate, after the elections when all their political capital is gone, they are doing this token gesture to try to appease the Hispanic community.”

Pro-immigrant advocates are furious at Congress ignoring their top issue. Democrats in turn blame Republicans for refusing to negotiate with them, especially when there’s an increased conservative sentiment against anything that could be labeled amnesty. Meanwhile, they’ve tweaked the Dream Act proposal to appease critics.

ROS-LEHTINEN - “I think they have made some good changes. They have lowered the age of the kids who can apply, that says they can’t bring in their family members for X number of years, and t hat’s a very good thing.”

Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a strong supporter of the Dream Act.

ROS-LEHTINEN – “Will any of those changes bring one more vote, I don’t think so.”

Ros-Lehtinen doubts the measure will pass Senate muster, where there are skeptics on both sides and Republicans are pushing for focusing on taxes and government funding. So – many of Florida’s immigration reform supporters could once again, be left waiting.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington, Manuel Quinones, WLRN – Miami Herald News.