Southwestern Dems push for DREAM Act in party platform

"I believe it's critical to rectify this unfair and inhumane policy" of deporting undocumented immigrants who came here as children, Heinrich said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. "Now's the time for our party to formalize our commitment to the DREAM Act."

Heinrich commended President Obama for temporarily halting the deportation of young illegal immigrants, but said the issue needed to be settled on a permanent basis.

"I've reached out to Richard Carmona in Arizona who's been very supportive, Congresswoman Berkley in Nevada who's been very supportive, and I think it's something that's going to take fire at this meeting and at the convention as well as at the convention," he said. "You don't take anything for granted until it actually happens but the response I've gotten has been very positive."

Obama is leading Mitt Romney by a huge margin with Hispanic voters, and Democrats have made some overt moves to appeal to them, including choosing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) as their convention's chairman, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) to give the keynote speech at the convention. Obama and his allies have also outspent Romney and his by a twelve-to-one margin on Spanish-language advertising at this point.

The Democratic National Convention will take place in Charlotte during the first week of September.