Harry Reid Keeps His DREAM Act Campaign Promises

Harry Reid promises to bring the DREAM Act to a vote in the lame duck Congress.

You might have thought Republican control of Congress would kill the DREAM Act's chances of becoming reality, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced otherwise today via his Twitter account. "I will move the DREAM Act as a standalone bill in the lame duck. It's good for the economy & Pentagon says good for natl security," he wrote.

The DREAM—Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors—Act gives a path to citizenship to young people here illegally if they've been in the country for at least five years, have a good character, and complete two years of military service or college.

A pre-election day effort by Reid to get the DREAM Act passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 failed due to Republican Senate Opposition. During his Senate re-election campaign, Reid promised Nevada's Latino community that if they voted him back into office, he would re-light a fire under the legislation.

President Obama also met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and vowed to help Reid get the legislation passed, saying it's a "down payment" on immigration reform.

Reid's announcement will surely fire up the already heated debate on immigration reform and education for undocumented students.

Photo (cc) Center for American Progress Action Fund