Tennessee’s two Republican senators say giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through college isn’t something they can support right now. The DREAM Act is expected to come up for a debate in the Senate this week, after kicking around in congress for nearly a decade.
There are bigger concerns that must come first, says Senator Lamar Alexander.
“I don’t think we can solve the problems of people who have come here illegally until we first secure the border. So for that reason, I haven’t been able to support the DREAM Act.”
Similarly, fellow Republican Bob Corker says there can’t be exceptions to a rule when the immigration rules, themselves, aren’t being followed.
“I think the American people want to know that we’re enforcing the laws that are on the books and that we actually have the ability to do that before we really make advances in other ways.”
Corker says the DREAM Act has improved in recent years. The current versions don’t allow undocumented students to get in-state tuition rates, as many advocates want.
Neither Corker nor Alexander appreciate that the DREAM Act is being tied to defense spending. They say the bill needs to be debated on its own merits.