Senate blocks DREAM Act

The United States Senate blocked a bill today that was intended to provide a path to legalized citizenship for immigrants who come to the country illegally before the age of 16.

Under the DREAM Act, legislation pioneered with bipartisan support by Senators Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), undocumented youth would have been eligible to receive U.S. citizenship after a six-year long period during which they would be required to complete either a college degree or two years of military service.

Although the House of Representatives passed the bill last week, it was blocked in the Senate after receiving only 55 votes, five short of the 60 needed to bring the bill to the floor for debate, according to the New York Times.

President Obama said he was dissatisfied with the results of the Senate vote.

“It is disappointing that common sense did not prevail today,” President Obama said in a statement. “But my administration will not give up on the Dream Act, or on the important business of fixing our broken immigration system.”

Supporters of the bill claimed it would have rewarded hard-working immigrants who had spent the majority of their lives and educational careers in the U.S.

“[Illegal immigrants] are relegated to the shadows by their status,” Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on the floor. The bill, she said, “provides an opportunity and incentive for them to prove themselves.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and David Rattray, senior vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, have also voiced their support for the bill.

Opponents, however, argued that the bill too closely resembled amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“The bill at its core is a reward for illegal activities,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said in his comments on the floor.

According to an LA Times/USC poll taken after the Nov. 2 midterms, 85 percent of Democrats in California and 68 percent of Republicans supported the idea of the Dream Act. California had been working on a statewide version of the bill.

The failure of the Senate to pass the bill means that any sweeping immigration reform is unlikely to occur under the current Congress, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill will now be pushed into the next Congressional term — which begins January 2011 — where Republicans will wield more control.

3 replies
  1. M
    M says:

    I’m not sure why these students don’t start the process of legally immigrating to the U.S.. My parents immigrated legally, it took a while, but they followed the law. Why should anyone be allowed to jump in line?

  2. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    What? The Senate blocked a bill that makes it easy for people who came here illegally to become citizens? You mean to tell me that people who shouldn’t be here to begin with shouldn’t get bailed out? Get outta town.

  3. Francis
    Francis says:

    Seeing that the Dream Act failed to gain enough votes in the Senate, it is now way past time that the 2006 Secure Fence Act was taken seriously. The provisions of the Act that were sacrificed soon after the law was borne by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), Coyrn (R-TX) and the majority of Liberal Democrats. These politicians amended the bill by cutting funding, to the–REAL–border fence that never materialized. I’m sure now the propagating Tea Party will introduce the Double border fence, with the internal barrier electrified, which would be a major deterrent to the illegal immigration invasion. This would have been an Amnesty, through–CHAIN MIGRATION–for millions of immediate family members sponsored by students? A new revised Dream Act may pass in the future, without chain migration. I think most moderate Conservatives have seen, stealth and the hidden loopholes in the agenda. ALL THOSE WHO VOTED FOR THE DREAM ACT, WILL BE VIVIDLY REMEMBERED IN THE NEXT REELECTION PERIOD IN AN ADVERSE LIGHT.

    Additionally Senator Reid crushed a mandatory E-Verify program that was developed to eject illegal aliens out of the workplace, which has been compromised by fraudulent ID. Both laws could be greatly enhanced by the federal government mandated the 287(g) that gives enforcement authority to the local State, county and local police to arrest and detain. It’s time the federal administrations began immigration enforcement and stop catering to foreign nationals with public entitlements and mass amnesty of any kind. Now both Democrats and Republicans better begin to contribute to American citizens-legal residents, instead of special interests and open border zealots. Gain more understanding of the illegal alien occupancy at NumbersUSA. Annually most Americans are unaware that 1.5 million legal newcomers settle in this nation, with “god Knows” how many illegal aliens to supplement the irreversible overpopulation. Most legal immigrants are heralded in by the Microsoft Bill Gates of America, in lower wage jobs. So its hard for me to understand why these billionaire business owners don’t hire US citizens and green card holders already here, to fill job opportunities or even organize national training programs?

    In conclusion–even though the Dream Act failed, these scholars or any young man or women, can join the armed forces simply by going to the nearest armed forces recruiting offices in time of conflict under 8 USC § 1440. If they want their citizenship the Afghanistan war or the potential chance of fighting a war against North Korea opens the door for them. Its a misnomer that they need the Dream Act to show their courage and skills of leadership. The recruiting Sergeant is waiting for you?

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