Latinos Split On Rubio's DREAM Act

June 11, 2012

Office of Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Latino voters prefer a DREAM Act that promises citizenship. They’re not so keen on an alternative DREAM Act proposed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio. That’s according to a new poll.

DREAM stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. Rubio has suggested a DREAM Act that would provide undocumented youth temporary legal status, if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military.

But it does not guarantee a path to citizenship. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s version would lead to permanent legal status.

Rubio pointed out in a Fox News interview Durbin’s DREAM Act has failed twice to get enough support.

"The first problem with the DREAM Act is we can’t get 60 votes for it in the Senate," Rubio said. "The second thing is the DREAM Act itself has certain things that lead to that opposition. For example it would allow for chain migration. So not only are the kids going to be helped but they can use that position to bring in their relatives. That could be 3-4 million people, so that raises red flags."

In a recent Latino Decisions poll Latino voters still preferred Durbin’s bill. Latino Decisions spokesman Gabriel Sanchez, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, said Rubio’s name has appeared on the short list of Mitt Romney’s potential running mates.

"If the idea is to use Marco Rubio and his particular version of the DREAM Act as a means of reaching out to Latino voters, it doesn’t look like this is going to be the game changer that they might hope that it would," Sanchez said.

The poll conducted earlier this month also showed Latinos favor President Obama over Romney.