Republicans stall on DREAM Act

Tyler Kingkade

Democrats have a number of items they wish to pass in the remaining days of the 112th Congress before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January.

One is the DREAM Act, which would provide students who were brought to the United States as children and have graduated from high school the opportunity to attend college or join the military, and ultimately have a pathway to citizenship.

Dave Leach, Des Moines Republican and anti-abortion rights activist, said in an editorial that his fellow Republicans “would support the DREAM Act if they understood numerical limitations.”

“But most, I get the impression, want a fair ‘line’ for all immigrants,” Leach said. “The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans think there already is one. The DREAM Act offers no grants. Just loans. No state will offer in-state tuition rates unless it really wants to.”

Those eligible would have to have been brought to the country before they were 16, and parents would be eligible to apply for citizenship based on their child’s status unless the child has lived in the country for a minimum of 21 years.

Conservative opponents claim the bill would cost too much, in the form of subsidized tuition the potential students would then be awarded when attending in-state colleges and universities, as well as financial assistance.

Supporters, such as Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, counter by saying it will eventually add trillions in taxable income from these graduates.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, called it the “illegal alien amnesty bill” and said “the DREAM Act amnesty bill is a nightmare for Americans who want the federal government to balance its budget, and it will result in Americans paying higher taxes and tuition fees.”

Democrats have not been able to bring it to a vote, as all Senate Republicans, including Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, signed a letter indicating refusal to vote on anything until the Bush-era tax cuts are settled.