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Will the Decision to not Move Forward on the Dream Act Hinder the Latino Vote?

The denial of the Defense Authorization Bill has stirred many emotions due to the prevention of the “Dream Act Amendment” that was included in the Bill.  The majority of the Senate voted not to proceed on the Defense Authorization Bill.  The Senate Republicans expressed sympathy for all who would be affected directly if the Act were to pass, but instead they offered to debate the issue at hand in a standalone bill, not with the Act being tacked onto the back of a Defense Authorization Bill. 

Many immigration advocacy groups say they are ready to fight against this decision, thus feeling betrayed by Republican Senator George LeMieux’s vote.  Many individuals are angry due to George LeMieux’s vote against the Defense Authorization Bill.  One specific group that this Dream Act targets is the Latino culture.  The Latino voters make up 14% of voters in the state of Texas.  This 56-43 decision may have helped Latinos find a reason to go to the ballot box. 

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Joshua Hoyt, Director of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights claims that Latinos are simply a group that cannot be ignored.  Many claim that the Republican filibuster represents exactly where the Republicans stand on this very issue and may have came about as an attack on the children of Latino immigrants.  Several individuals claim that this decision alone is an opportunity to let Latinos know what exactly is going on in politics and galvanize Latinos in the electoral process. 

Numerous organizations are talking to voters every day who have questions regarding the immigration reform and how they play a part in this issue.  According to Latinos, jobs and fair immigration reform are the most important issues that need to be dealt with.  Former Secretary of State and retired General, Collin Powell, supports the DREAM Act and has called for order among the Senate regarding the Act. 

According to the polls, Latinos made up 7.4% of the electorate in 2008, which this number has almost doubled in the last 20 years, and is most definitely expected to grow in the upcoming years ahead.  If our government leaders are not careful, America’s fasting growing voting block could very well disappear. 

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