NAICU Washington Update

Senate Fails to Move on DREAM Act

October 01, 2010

The Senate failed to bring legislation to the floor that would have included a controversial vote on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The Senate had been scheduled to take up the Defense Department authorization bill, with votes expected on amendments that would have included the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the DREAM Act (see earlier Washington Update story).

The bipartisan DREAM Act, which was first proposed a decade ago, would help undocumented students gain citizenship and allow eligibility for some forms of federal student aid. The higher education community has strongly supported the bill over the years.

The defense authorization bill is usually bipartisan. However, Republicans balked at adding the last minute amendments to the legislation, claiming pre-election political maneuvering by Senate leadership. The motion to bring the bill to the Senate floor failed, so no amendments were considered.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), the author of the DREAM Act, will attempt to advance it again as a stand-alone bill, or as an amendment to legislation considered during the lame-duck session after the elections.

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