Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

DREAM Act Fails in Senate


The House of Representatives passed the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act on December 8, 2010, but the Senate failed to pass the bill on December 18. The outcome was 55-41, which was five votes short of the 60 needed to bypass a filibuster by Republicans and move the bill forward.

Prospects are dim for enactment in the near future, although Democrats vowed to push for the legislation and to include it in any comprehensive immigration reform bill. President Barack Obama said he found the results “incredibly disappointing” but that his administration “will not give up on the DREAM Act, or on the important business of fixing our broken immigration system.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Though disappointed by the result of today’s DREAM Act vote in the Senate, we are not deterred in our determination to continue advocating for this critical legislation.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) countered, “We’re not going to pass the DREAM Act or any other legalization until we secure our borders. It will never be done stand-alone. It has to be part of comprehensive immigration reform.” (The Senate passed a $600 million border security bill in August.)

The DREAM Act, which has a long history, would allow qualified undocumented children to apply for conditional legal immigration status and eventually to obtain permanent residence if they meet certain requirements.

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