Commentary: Playing political football with DREAM Act

It would be a shame if partisan politics kept Congress from passing at least some version of the DREAM Act, which offers a path to citizenship for young illegal aliens who serve in the military or make significant progress in college.

But that seems to be happening as the legislation becomes a chip in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship over the immigration issue, with both parties using it to score points with their constituencies.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of young people who want to contribute to their country through the military or higher education are left in limbo.

That’s unfair to them – many of whom came to this country as young children – and to the nation; the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the DREAM Act passed, government revenues would increase by $2.3 billion by 2020 through the higher level of productivity of the young people who qualified under it for legal residency or citizenship.

The DREAM Act has had support from some Republicans over the years, most notably Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who has been a co-sponsor when the legislation was introduced in the past. But he declined to co-sponsor the bill when it was re-introduced Wednesday.

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