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President Obama says he won't back down from the DREAM Act
08-09-2011

 

President Obama says he won’t back down from the DREAM Act

President Barack Obama says he has no intention of backing down on his plan to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the military.

Obama maintained his support for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act during an interview withDoctora Isabel, a psychologist who has doled out family advice on TV and radio programs for years. The interview aired Friday on Univision Radio, the radio branch of the Spanish-language broadcasting company.

President Barack Obama said he's not giving up on the DREAM Act. (AP Photo)

“I know that a comprehensive reform is not on your plate right now,” Isabel told the president in the interview. “I do understand that, but when would you be able to exercise your leadership in terms of pursuing the enactment of the DREAM Act? It is my dream to have that.”

Obama is in the midst of debt negotiations with Congress to nail down a deal before the looming Aug. 2 deadline, and in an interview aired the same day, he told NPR’s Michel Martin that he wants a budget plan for his 50th birthday, coming up in a few weeks. But in his Univision interview, Obama insisted the DREAM Act has not gone off his radar.

“Well, keep in mind we are pursuing it right now. We were pursuing it last year,” he told Isabel. “We should be welcoming (the undocumented students) and so I’ve consistently said that I am a strong supporter of the DREAM Act.”

A version of the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2007, and legislative descendants of the proposal have been tossed around Congress since then. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid re-introduced the bill in May, but it failed yet again when past GOP supporters – including Texas Sen. John Cornyn – withheld their votes.

Obama said he will keep trying, but politics and party lines will continue to be the administration’s biggest obstacle.

“We’ve had problems with Republican members of Congress, some of whom previously supported … the DREAM Act but for some reason, because of politics, have pulled their support from it,” Obama told Isabel. “And so we need to rebuild that support and put pressure for members of Congress to do the right thing on this issue.”

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