Ten states defied that federal law and offered DREAM Act-style tuition preference to illegal aliens: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington. The last time DREAM Act champions tried to tack their scheme onto a larger immigration proposal, they snuck in language that would absolve those 10 states of their law-breaking by repealing the 1996 law retroactively -- and also offering the special path to green cards and citizenship for illegal alien students.
Despite the obvious electoral advantage this plan would give Democrats, several pro-illegal alien amnesty Republicans crossed the aisle to support the DREAM Act, including double-talking Sens. John McCain, Richard Lugar, Bob Bennett, Sam Brownback, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Larry Craig, Chuck Hagel, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mel Martinez and Olympia Snowe, as well as presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (who champions even greater illegal alien student benefits than those proposed by Democrats). After paying lip service to securing the borders, McCain promised DREAM Act demonstrators this week that he supported the bill and would work to "resolve their issues."
Out-of-touch pols might want to pay attention to the world outside their bubble. A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that Americans across the political spectrum favor tougher enforcement of existing immigration laws over rolling out the amnesty welcome wagon. When asked, "Do you think immigration reform should primarily move in the direction of integrating illegal immigrants into American society or in the direction of stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration?" solid majorities of registered Republicans, Democrats and independents chose stricter enforcement over greater integration of the illegal alien population.
Democrats outside the Beltway have grown increasingly averse to signing on to illegal alien incentives -- especially as the Obama jobs death toll mounts and economic confidence plummets. Here in Colorado, a handful of Democrats joined Republican lawyers to kill a state-level DREAM Act amid massive higher education budget cuts and a bipartisan voter backlash.
Asked why she opposed the illegal alien student bailout, one Democratic lawmaker said quite simply: "I listened to my constituents." An alien concept in Washington, to be sure.