Senate Democrats yesterday retreated from forcing a debate about giving illegal-alien students a path to citizenship in the middle of the defense bill, although Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to find time before the end of the year for a vote on the proposal.
“We will move to proceed to this matter before we leave here. I”m going to do my utmost to do it by November 16,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said last night.
The proposal faced strong opposition from Republicans who objected to mixing immigration with the defense bill and who vowed to filibuster to defeat the measure if Democrats insisted on bringing it up now.
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, told The Washington Times last week that enough Republicans were opposed to mixing the two debates that they could block the amendment. Late yesterday, Republicans moved to cut off debate on the defense bill, leaving Democrats with practically no options for inserting their proposal, known as the Dream Act.
It’s not over, though:
The Dream Act has become the top priority for Hispanic and pro-immigration groups and has become the top target for defeat for those who wish to crack down on illegals. The delay gives both sides a chance to rally support.
Decoupling the measure from the defense bill gives it a better chance of passage, but it also means another contentious issue for Mr. Reid to schedule before Congress adjourns for the year. Another immigration-related proposal — to legalize illegal-alien agriculture workers — is also expected to come up for debate.
Bryan Preston has a video reminder of Harry Reid’s full-throated support for “undocumented Americans.” Snort.
Polipundit points to good news on the attrition front.