Miami Republicans back DREAM Act for immigrants

The Sun Sentinel, 11/16/2010

While a conservative resurgence this year has discouraged prospects for immigration reform, Cuban-American Republicans from Miami are swimming against the tide by backing a bill that would give a break to the children of illegal immigrants.

Reform advocates this week touted comments by Republican U.S. Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Cuban-Americans from Miami, in support of the proposed DREAM Act. The bill would allow immigrant children to remain in this country to serve in the military and attend college.

Diaz-Balart — who refused to sign the Republican Contract with America in the 1990s because he thought it embraced anti-immigrant policies — called upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the DREAM Act to a vote during the lame-duck session.

America’s Voice – a Washington advocacy group pushing hard for broader reforms that include a path to citizenship for millions of illegal residents – also cited support for the DREAM Act from Republican congressman-elect David Rivera of Miami.

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

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