Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act from securing 60 votes to pass cloture, denying hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) even said yesterday on the Senate floor that young people lobbying his office had wasted their time.
Today on the Sunday political talk shows, guests from a wide array of the ideological spectrum assailed the GOP for blocking the measure:
NBC’s ANDREA MITCHELL: The dumbest thing that the Republicans did was the DREAM Act. … that is going to turn out to be a real setback for Republicans because these are people who wanted to serve in the military and get educated and contribute to the society.
NEWARK, NJ MAYOR CORY BOOKER: To tell people who’ve been through high school, high school presidents going on to college some of the best brains who have no relation to their home country. This is crazy. It’s hurting America.
GOP STRATEGIST MARK MCKINNON: The Republican Party has got to recognize Hispanics are the huge growing demographic in this country. … We gotta send the right signal to Hispanics in this country in addition to the fact that it’s the right policy.
FOX NEWS’ JUAN WILLIAMS: The one thing that I regret…is the defeat of the DREAM Act for the immigrants and the immigrant kids. I just think, again, Republicans play politics with real lives, real people, real aspirations and they leave the immigration issue on the table when that’s the real business of the American people.
Bill Kristol complained to Williams that the real reason the GOP opposed the measure is because he claimed they didn’t know anything about it. “Do you know how many hearings there were in either house, in the House or the Senate on the DREAM Act over the past two years? Zero,” he said. “You know it’s almost anti-American, Bill,” Williams said in response, adding, “and the reason they couldn’t discuss it was because the talk show hosts in America the right-wing talk show hosts would beat up any Republican who supported a realistic effort.” Watch the compilation:
The basic elements of the DREAM Act are straightforward, well understood, and have been considered numerous times over the last nine years. It has been introduced every Congress since 2001. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 16–3 vote in October 2003. And it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee again in 2006 by voice vote as part of the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive bill, which passed the full Senate by a 62–36 margin.
So it seems that Republicans like to blame process when they’re just simply on the wrong side of history.