Obama promises to push for Dream Act, while Rubio tries to allay the right wing
President Obama at a Cinco de Mayo event Thursday expressed a desire to pass the Dream Act, the legislation that's back in the news now that Republicans and Sen. Marco Rubio are pushing for an alternative. Obama criticized "the other side" for blocking the legislation but also said he was willing to work "with anybody serious to get this done."
"... Of course, there is still plenty of unfinished business, including fixing our broken immigration system. And it is long past the time that we unleash the promise of all our young people and make the DREAM Act a reality," Obama said to applause.
"A lot of you remember, over a year ago, we brought the DREAM Act to a vote in Congress, thanks to the hard work of many of you. And it passed the House and a majority of votes in the Senate. Unfortunately, we had some on the other side of the aisle that got together and blocked it. But we didn’t come this far just to let partisan politics stand in our way.
"So we’re going to keep fighting for this common-sense reform -- not just because hundreds of thousands of talented young students depend on it, but because ultimately America depends on it. 'No' is not an option. I want to sign the DREAM Act into law. I’ve got the pens all ready. I’m willing to work with anybody who is serious to get this done, and to achieve bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that solves this challenge once and for all."
Rubio has not yet released his proposal, which would create non-immigrant visas for children of illegal immigrants, but not a path to citizenship. He's encountering resistance from Democrats, who want the full Dream Act, but also the right wing. Numbers USA, a hardline anti-illegal immigration group, has been especially critical, sending Rubio letters and warning other Republicans on Capitol Hill to not support his "amnesty."
Roy Beck, director of the group, told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday that Rubio has contacted him to discuss his proposal. He would not elaborate on their discussion but indicated disapproval. "Unfortunately, based on news reports of the details of his plan thus far, we would have to oppose it with as much vigor as the Dream amnesties we defeated in 2010 and 2007."
Another immigration group, Americans for Legal Immigration, has organized a campaign to bombard Rubio's office with calls.
"Apparently Senator Marco Rubio is not using the millions of dollars of our tax money he receives each year for offices and staff to empty his DC voice mail on a Monday morning!" reads a message on the group's website.
"Please adjust your activism calls and bombard his Florida offices with thousands of calls. Call each one of them individually. We want word to reach Marco Rubio as he stumps with Romney today that Americans from all states are calling to demand he end his support for Dream Act Amnesty for illegal aliens!"
Call Rubio's offices with your own version of our sample messages.
"I'm calling to tell Senator Rubio that I am one of the vast majority of Americans who oppose his illegal alien Dream Act Amnesty plans."
"I'm calling/writing to tell Senator Rubio that I oppose his illegal alien Amnesty plans and that I will work to make sure that his political career is ended. Accurate polls show that Americans oppose Dream Act Amnesty concepts 2 to 1 (Rasmussen Polling Oct 2007) and Senator Rubio has made a big career mistake trying to become the next John McCain and Lindsay Graham with illegal immigration issues. Dream Act Amnesty for illegal aliens will only encourage more illegal aliens and the courts will eventually allow Marco Rubio's illegal aliens voting rights, which will steal political power from millions of innocent Americans. Rubio's Dream Act Amnesty bill will cost many Americans their votes, jobs, taxpayer resources, and very lives. We need immigration enforcement not Amnesty!"
LIGHT UP THOSE PHONE LINES NOW USING THESE NUMBERS! Remember, calls are the most effective tool you have."