Reid’s DREAM Act Problem: The Math Doesn’t Work for Him

Published on November 23rd, 2010

By Joe Guzzardi
November 19, 2010

If I were a Nevada resident who voted for Harry Reid, I’d already have a bad case of buyer’s remorse. Less than three weeks after his hard fought reelection, Reid is cynically conducting his subversive business as usual by promising—again!—to bring the DREAM Act to the Senate floor for a vote after the Thanksgiving recess.

In meetings with President Barack Obama, House leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow pro-immigration advocate Chuck Schumer, Reid has been frantically plotting how he can ram the DREAM Act through. Effectively, Reid knows it’s now or never.

Reid no longer has to risk Nevadans’ ire. They foolishly signed on for six more years of Reid’s same agenda: amnesty first, American jobs last.

Naturally, Reid only mentioned the DREAM Act in his campaign when he was addressing supportive Hispanic audiences. If he had made the DREAM Act his focus, he might have lost. In fact, Reid repeatedly promised that his mission would be to create jobs for the 14 percent of Nevadans who are out of work. But now that Reid is safely back on Capitol Hill and the Nevada citizens won’t be his concern again until 2016, he’s up to his old tricks.

The DREAM Act is anti-jobs. Among its other drawbacks, it allows illegal immigrants to get a discounted tuition college education, subsidized by already overburdened taxpayers, and then with their newly minted diplomas, enter the professional labor pool. If they can’t find white collar employment, the new graduates will compete for already scarce entry-level work.

Eventually, the alien students and those that follow them through chain migration will become United States citizens and a permanent part of our already overcrowded nation.

In a gushing and misleading statement about the DREAM Act wherein he claimed it “…makes sense for our country economically, from a national security perspective and one that reflects American values…,” Reid noted that the bill had bipartisan backing before the November election. Reid hoped it would retain that support now that November is history.

Reid’s problem is that November 2012 is not history; the reelection cycle has started. Any incumbent, Democrat or Republican, who votes for the DREAM Act will have to answer to the electorate in two years.

The raw math is tough for Reid. The Democrats control 59 seats. Seven voted “no” three years ago on a DREAM Act procedural measure: Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.).

Although most are hedging their current positions, McCaskill, since she will face a bitter 2012 campaign, is a probable “no” as is the retiring Dorgan and Pryor who is on the record as saying he’ll “probably vote against it.”

If a minimum of three of the seven vote no, that reduces the 59 Democratic votes for to 56. But it could be fewer. Besides the seven listed above, several other non-lame duck Democrats in the Senate with an eye on 2012 may also be leery about supporting the DREAM Act.

Assuming a Democratic scenario of a maximum 56 “yea” votes, they’ll need to pick up at least four Republicans, nearly impossible.

Fighting the DREAM Act for the umpteenth time is infuriating. Since it was first introduced in 2001, patriots have beaten back twelve different DREAM Act threats.

One more final defeat could send it away for a long time.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1990. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. He can be reached at [email protected]

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