Hon. Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s Democratic delegate to Congress, said that President Obama could not get Senate Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act during his first term.
“The only way [Obama] could have done it was to get total unanimity in the Democratic ranks and that’s not easy to get,” Pierluisi told The Washington Examiner during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual Public Policy Conference last week when asked why Democrats did not pass any immigration legislation when they controlled the House and had a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate.
“Do you think [Obama] wouldn’t have been able to get the 60 votes for immigration reform?” The Examiner followed up.
“That’s right,” Pierluisi said. “That’s my view on it. Because obviously you cannot expect that every single Democrat could support it. He got the votes for [health care] and we tried the DREAM Act at the end of that Congress and that didn’t work; we could approve it in the House but didn’t in the Senate.”
Pierluisi blamed the Republicans, ultimately, for the lack of immigration bills, because their lack of support meant that any defections on the Democratic side could thwart the bill.