Heinrich looks to get an edge by supporting the DREAM Act
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In a US Senate race that’s already intense with nearly three months to go until Election Day, Democrat Martin Heinrich on Thursday (Aug. 9th) made an appeal in a state that’s 46.7 percent Hispanic by calling for the “DREAM Act” to be added to the platform of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September.
“The DREAM Act is the type of fair, practical immigration policy that Americans are demanding,” Heinrich said in a news release sent out by his campaign. “It’s time to make the dream a reality.”
Republican opponent Heather Wilson responded in a statement, “While I do not support amnesty, and never have, we are talking about children who were brought here through no decision of their own and we owe it to them to find a long-term solution. There are real lives at stake here.”
The Dream Act is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, a piece of legislation that’s been kicking around Capitol Hill for the last 11 years. It’s aimed at addressing what to do about the children of illegal immigrants or illegal immigrants themselves.
The bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal individuals of good moral character who graduate from US high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning, they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period.
Some opponents say it amounts an amnesty program while others may support it but insist that it should not be passed without increasing immigration enforcement.
“DREAM Act students represent much of what’s best about our nation: hard work, motivation, and a willingness to serve this country,” Heinrich said in his statement. “The DREAM Act is good for our economy, our security and our nation.”
“Sen. [Marco] Rubio was working on a bipartisan, long-term solution to this very important issue,” Wilson said in her statement, “but it was suspended because of the President’s executive order on prosecutorial discretion. I look forward to working with Senator Rubio in the US Senate in finding a bipartisan, long-term solution to this very important issue.”
Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of attacks and counterattacks between Heinrich and Wilson, who are locked in a close and expensive fight to win the seat of retiring New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat, who is stepping down after 30 years.
Earlier this week, the two called each other liars in response to an 30-second commercial criticizing Heinrich for voting for the Affordable Health Care Act that included a provision that called for a 2.41 percent tax on medical devices affecting manufacturers in New Mexico. (Click here to read Steve Terrell’s story in the Santa Fe New Mexican and click here to read the story that was picked up by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative outlet based in DC.)
And that came less than two weeks after an ad sponsored by the Sierra Club attacked Wilson as a tool of oil interests. The spot showed children drinking from a water fountain that puports to show oil rather than water coming from the spout. Click here to see it.
According to the non-partisan website www.OpenSecrets.org Heinrich and Wilson have combined to raise nearly $8 million in their race, making it one of the most expensive congressional races in the entire country. OpenSecrets reports Wilson has raised $4.047 million while Heinrich has raised $3.883 million.
Posted under Capitol Report.
Tags: Democratic National Convention, DREAM Act, Heather Wilson, Jeff Bingaman, Marco Rubio, Martin Heinrich, Santa Fe New Mexican, Sierra Club, Steve Terrell, Washington Free Beacon, www.opensecrets.org