WASHINGTON — In an appeal to Latino voters, three Senate candidates in the Southwest are calling on delegates to the Democratic National Convention to make support of a bill to help young undocumented immigrants gain citizenship a part of the party platform.
The Democratic-led House approved the DREAM Act – the acronym stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors – in December 2010, but Republicans blocked it in the Senate. While the bill has not been approved by either the House or the Senate since, Obama has supported it as part of his immigration reform efforts.
Democratic officials believe that the growing Hispanic population in key battleground states such as New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada gives those who embrace the DREAM Act a competitive edge in this fall’s elections. A Pew Hispanic Center survey conducted in late 2011 found that more than 9 in 10 Hispanics support the DREAM Act.
It’s unclear whether the Democratic Party’s platform committee will add support of the bill to the platform.