DREAM Act Dies An Unfair Death In the Senate
Matt | On 22, Dec 2010
In the celebration over the U.S. Senate’s passage of the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ on Saturday, we left out some sad news in Congress from earlier that day.
The DREAM Act, technically known as Development, Relief , and Education of Alien Minors Act of 2010, failed to get the needed 60 Senate votes to break the filibuster (i.e., invoke the cloture motion) and bring up a final vote on the matter. Had those 60 votes been achieved, another vote would have taken place that could have made the legislation a law for the president to sign. That didn’t happen, though. The “test” vote failed by a margin of 55-41.
If you remember, the DREAM Act was designed to give a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who entered this country before they turned age 16. It was aimed at those who were forced to come to the U.S. with their parents while they were minors. The bill would have required two years of college or military service, plus a few other requirements, to begin the quest toward citizenship.
The House passed the bill earlier this month and observers were hopeful for the same outcome in the Senate.
As suspected in the Senate, the GOP was strongly against the DREAM Act. Of the 41 votes against it, 36 of those were Republican senators. Only three Republicans and two Independents voted for the cloture motion. Since the 60 vote threshold was not crossed, the bill died in the Senate.
Immigration activists were rightfully pissed at Saturday’s outcome in the Senate. They thought since the bill targeted youth that were trying to do something right with their lives, then it may have a hope for survival in the Senate. That wasn’t the case. People were still holding on to their fears of “immigrant takeover,” so they didn’t consider the young people involved in these scenarios of deportation during their formative years.
Now that we have an even more conservative Congress coming into power next month, I don’t think we will be seeing much more of the DREAM Act in its current form. It’s very sad because it could have done a lot to change the course of some youth in this country.