It’s the least he can do. After all, he owes his win over Sharron Angle to Latinos, no?
Actually … no. As Kaus notes, his margin of victory was such that he would have won by 7,000 votes even if every last Latino voter in his base had stayed home. So this is actually something else — part pre-2012 pandering for Obama, part last-ditch effort to legalize millions of new Democratic voters before the new Republican House makes that impossible for the foreseeable future.
During his re-election campaign in Nevada, Mr. Reid said he would try again to pass the legislation, known as the Dream Act. And in a Twitter message on Wednesday evening, his office said he would try to do so in the current session as a stand-alone bill.
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, has been discussing the immigration measure with Democratic colleagues but has not yet scheduled a vote on it, a spokesman said.
The legislation would give legal residency to immigrants who arrived in the United States before age 16 and resided here for at least five years, graduated from high school and completed two years of college or military service. They would be subject to background checks, could not have a criminal record, and even if successful would still not be eligible for benefits like Pell grant scholarships.
The media’s been spinning this as a “small” amnesty, but as you can see from the last paragraph (and as Kaus, again, has repeatedly pointed out), there are a lottttt of people who fit that description. Says the boss emeritus, “The illegal alien student bailout will NOT be limited to ‘children’ — but, in fact, would put illegal aliens in their 30s and 40s on a ‘path to citizenship.'” And Obama is fully onboard, needless to say, having met with the Democrats’ leadership on amnesty at the White House yesterday. What I can’t figure out is whether Reid is moving on this knowing that vulnerable centrists like McCaskill and Tester who are up in 2012 will be inclined to filibuster, or whether he actually thinks he has the votes either via reluctant Blue Dog types signing on or moderate Republicans breaking with the GOP. I assume it’s the former and that he’s only pushing this in the lame duck session so that he can tell amnesty shills he gave it his very best shot when it fails. But if he can keep his caucus together, he only needs one Republican to push it through. Gulp.
They’re also pressing ahead with DADT in the lame duck. And to think, I thought December would be a slow news month.