Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Dream Act Defeated

It seems to be over-- the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act [DREAM] Act failed to gain the needed 60 votes to invoke cloture, or end debate, in the Senate, allowing a vote on the act itself. 

This isn't terribly surprising, but it's disappointing to say the least. This was a bill which would have provided immigrant children who had been brought to the United States illegally by their parents, and who in most cases had become accustomed and acculturated to the U.S. with an opportunity to have pursued residency and citizenship. It would have only been open to such people who had no serious criminal records and who had either served in the military or attended college-- thus, it weeded out undesirable immigrants and it provided incentives to young people living under these circumstances to pursue positive goals which the nation would have benefited from in time. 

It's clear that the incoming GOP controlled House will not bring  this legislation up for another vote, so hopes for this relief to people in this situation must be set aside now, probably until after the 2012 election. There may be some possibility of having such status adjustments included in an immigration bill that also addressed GOP concerns, which are focused on the enforcement side of this debate. It is unclear, though, whether either party would support the other's priorities in order to achieve compromise. 

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