A number of Hispanic Florida lawmakers, including fellow Republicans state Reps. Juan Zapata, Julio Robaina, Anitere Flores, state Sen. Rudy Garcia and Republican state House candidate Ana Rivas Logan -- have asked Republican George LeMieux to vote for the Dream Act "so that thousands of hard working and motivated youth can continue on the path to realizing America's promise.
"It is the RIGHT thing to do," the lawmakers wrote in the letter penned by Zapata, chairman of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. (Foes of the DREAM Act -- to give students in the U.S. illegally a chance to stay -- say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is just bringing it up because he's locked in a tight race and wants to pander to Hispanics.)
Regardless, LeMieux isn't backing the measure. "Instead of having a full debate on the DREAM act, the majority wants to circumvent the committee process, any potential improvements, and pass it into law. While I am sympathetic to the students impacted by current law, I cannot support consideration of the DREAM Act until we have taken substantial and effective measures to secure our borders."
The timing of taking up the Dream Act just weeks before an election, and as part of the Defense Authorization Act, is transparently political and unfortunate to those students whose expectations have been raised. If the Democrat majority that controls Congress were truly serious about fixing our broken immigration system, I along with many Republicans would join that effort."