Latino Republicans Crossing Line to Support DREAM Act

Some Latino Republicans are planning on crossing the aisle in order to support a vote on the DREAM act that Sen. Harry Reid, President Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus want to push through during the lame-duck congress.

Republican U.S. Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) called upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the DREAM Act to a vote. Republican congressman-elect David Rivera of Miami has also demonstrated support for the DREAM act.

“The drumbeat is getting louder,” Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice told the Sun Sentinel. “Now is the time for Congress to step up to the plate and secure America's future with the extremely popular, bipartisan DREAM Act.”

Reid has long been a vocal proponent of the DREAM act and released a statement this week that spoke to Republicans directly, " "Secretaries of Defense from both parties have supported this bill because it strengthens our Armed Forces. In fact, this bill has a long history of bipartisan support, and was originally co-authored by Republicans. "

By supporting the DREAM act, congressional Republicans have the opportunity to burnish their image in the eyes of Latinos. After a political season that saw many candidates attempting to demonize and marginalize our communities, Republicans have a rare chance to prove to us that they are not the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino party they seemed to be.

 "Last time we sought to bring up this bill, all Republicans blocked our effort, even though many have been supporters of the DREAM Act in the past," Sen. Reid pointed out. "I hope that our Republican colleagues will join me, Sen. Durbin and Democrats in passing this important piece of legislation, now that we have a stand-alone version and that political season is over."