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Coffman Still in Dark on Dream Act

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Recently, The Denver Post Curtis Hubbard wrote a blog post with the headline, "Four reasons Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, saw the light on the DREAM Act."

But Coffman has not seen the "light" on the DREAM Act. He may be inching his way toward the light, but he's still in the dark.

The Dream Act of 2010, which Coffman voted against, would have granted a citizenship path to some undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, who graduate from high school or enroll in the military. (Other versions of the DREAM Act would make citizenship contingent on military service or graduating from college.)

Now Coffman is saying he supports one of the DREAM Act's paths to citizenship (military enrollment) -- not the second path (high school or college graduation). So, he hasn't flipped on the DREAM Act. Based on his current positions, he'd vote against it again.

In fact, on the key issue of citizenship, Coffman hasn't moved much from the position he took last year, when told the Post, "I certainly don't support a path to citizenship for those that have violated our laws."

Coffman doesn't support a citizenship path for our country's 11 million undocumented adult immigrants, preferring the approach of giving them "legal status" and thus creating an underclass of workers with no political voice.

And his citizenship path for young immigrants, through military enrollment, appears to be unworkable, because, based on the numbers of undocumented immigrants who might enroll, the armed forces could probably not handle so many new recruits. Which makes the argument for two citizenship paths (education and military), as envisioned in the DREAM Act, even stronger.

Here's the bill summary from the 2010 DREAM Act, which Coffman voted against. I include it partially because I reported it incorrectly in a recent post of mine:

"This bill would establish a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants under the age of 29 who were brought to the U.S. by their parents before the age of 16 and have graduated high school or promise to serve in the military. Applicants for citizenship under the DREAM Act would have to meet certain criteria designed to prevent the bill from being exploited and to weed out applicants that have been in trouble with the law. Immigrants granted conditional citizenship under the bill, pending final status adjustment, would not be allowed to receive federal benefits like food stamps and Medicaid."