Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DREAM Votes

Many opponents of the so-called DREAM Act have emphasized focusing on potentially wavering Senate Republicans, such as:
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Richard Lugar (IN)
Sam Brownback (KS)
Susan Collins (ME)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Lugar could face a primary battle in 2012, as could Snowe. While Collins may back Snowe's decision on DREAM in an act of solidarity, the other senators on this list could be harder to pressure. Murkowski just made it through an election, and Brownback is leaving the Senate to become governor.

Opponents of the DREAM Act would also be wise to keep their attention on certain Democrats. Democrats facing reelection in 2012 are marked with an asterisk:
Mark Pryor (AR)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Claire McCaskill (MO)*
Jon Tester (MT)*
Kent Conrad (ND)*
Joe Manchin (WV)*
If opponents of the DREAM Act can get some of those votes, it becomes very hard to see how DREAM can break a filibuster.

Wild cards in this cloture vote include Byron Dorgan (D-ND), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). These senators will be leaving the Senate in January. Dorgan especially has been known as a skeptic about legalization plans, but it remains to be seen how much influence the White House and others may have over him now.

As Mickey Kaus points out, the DREAM Act may be about more than just legalizing some children:
I have differences with Roy Beck, head of the influential restrictionist group NumbersUSA. (He wants to reduce both illegal and legal immigration.) But Beck's closing analysis of the DREAM Act is quite powerful and damning. He argues that, because there are no penalties to lying on a DREAM application, and because once you file the application you get a work permit good for 10 years (while you comply with the Act's requirements), DREAM is basically a 10 year free pass to any illegal in a broad under-35ish age range who either qualifies or is willing to say he qualifies even if he doesn't.

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