Sen. Ben Nelson
Sen. Ben Nelson


Several Senators have come out and expressed their opposition to Harry Reid's decision to amend the Dept. of Defense Authorization bill with the DREAM Act Amnesty. Sen. Reid is hoping to bring the Amnesty bill up for a floor vote early next week, but he'll need at least 60 votes for passage.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who worked with the Democratic Leadership earlier in the year on a mass amnesty bill, is not happy that Reid wants to jeopardize a defense bill with an amnesty amendment.

"This is an all-time low for me being in the Senate, and that's saying something," committee member Lindsey O. Graham told The Cable. "The one area that has been kept off-limits from partisan politics has been the defense of our nation."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has been supportive of some amnesty legislation in the past, also questioned Reid's decision to add the DREAM Act to a defense bill. McConnell said the DREAM Act has "nothing to do with defense" and makes the bill "needlessly controversial."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is calling Reid's move a cheap election ploy.

"The Dream Act should be a part of comprehensive immigration reform. Adding it to the Defense Authorization ... is cynical and transparently political."

Republicans aren't the only ones questioning Reid's decision to bring DREAM up for a vote. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Reid risks losing his support on the bill.

"It would depend on a lot of factors, but it certainly would make it that much more difficult to support something such as the defense authorization bill."

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said she opposed the DREAM Act just days before Reid's announcement, saying it lacks the enforcement measures needed to pass a true amnesty bill. Reid has promised members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he won't allow any other immigration-related amendments to be added to the defense authorization bill.

Illegal Immigration

Originally Published: Thu, Sep 16th 2010 @ 12:10pm EDT