Politics Daily is reporting that the Dream Act was defeated in the Senate. The Senate failed to overcome a bipartisan filibuster against the DREAM Act Saturday by a vote of 55 to 41, just five short of the 60 needed to advance the immigration bill to a final debate in the chamber. Had it passed the Senate, the legislation would have given young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they completed two years of college or two years in the military. To qualify, children of immigrants also would have had to come to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived here longer than five years.
Many saw the bill as the last hope for expanding immigration options to children of illegal immigrants. Democrats argued that it was the right thing to do for children, many of whom have known only the United States as home, so that they could become full citizens, serve the country and make use of their education. Republicans argued that it was essentially unrestricted amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the bill's sponsor, first introduced the DREAM Act 10 years ago, and it has been considered by the Senate repeatedly over the decade. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a message for illegal immigrants that he delivered on the Senate floor: "You are wasting your time," he said. "We are not going to pass the DREAM Act or any other immigration bill [until] we secure our borders." Perhaps Latino voters will send Republicans a message in the next election cycle?
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