Mickey Kaus has been covering in Newsweek the maneuvering to pass the DREAM amnesty by the lame duck Senate (after it was passed by a lame duck House this week). First, DREAM is potentially a huge amnesty:
because there are no penalties to lying on a DREAM application, and because once you file the application you get a work permit good for 10 years (while you comply with the Act`s requirements), DREAM is basically a 10 year free pass to any illegal in a broad under-35ish age range who either qualifies or is willing to say he qualifies even if he doesn`t.
Second, that Harry Reid postponed a vote today shows he`s not just going-through-the-motions to prove his good intentions to Hispanic activists. Instead, he`s trying to keep it alive in case it can become part of the tax cut extension compromise:
Delay offers the hope that something will break in his favor, that the ongoing big negotiations on taxes and spending will offer a moment of leverage to pry a recalcitrant Republican (or, more likely, Democrat) or two over to the DREAM side. At the very least, it offers the prospect that, once the big tax-cut-extension deal is done, Republican senators will consider themselves released from their "Wall of No" pledge not to give any other legislation priority.