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Wednesday, December 08, 2010
House passes Dream Act
Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the DREAM Act. It was a big victory, but now we keep up the fight to get it passed in the Senate.
The DREAM Act is just one step away from becoming a reality, but we must keep pushing. Call your Senator now and ask them to vote YES on the DREAM Act.
Dial 866-996-5161 or click here to call your Senator.The Senate is expected Thursday to vote on whether to advance similar legislation, but it's unlikely Democrats can muster the 60 votes needed to advance it past opposition by Republicans and a handful of their own members.
"It's an uphill struggle," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat, acknowledged.
The Senate was unable to block a Republican fillabuster. The vote was put off for the future.
Please stop what you're doing and call your Senators as soon as possible and ask them to support the DREAM Act.
U.S. Senate: 202-224-3121
Debate on the measure was fraught with politics. Obama has made an intense public push in recent days in favor of the measure, eager to demonstrate his commitment to Hispanic voters, a key voting bloc that's been alienated by his failure to push broader immigration legislation.
With the GOP taking control of the House and representing a stronger minority in the Senate next year, failure to enact the legislation by year's end dims the prospects for action by Congress to grant a path toward legalization for the nation's millions of undocumented immigrants.
After the House vote, Obama issued a statement pledging to move forward on immigration reform and casting the Dream Act as a way of correcting what he called "one of the most egregious flaws of a badly broken immigration system."
"This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America," Obama said. "We are enriched by their talents and the success of their efforts will contribute to our nation's success and security."
Obama's drive to enact the legislation and congressional Democrats' determination to vote on it before year's end reflect the party's efforts to satisfy Hispanic groups whose backing has been critical in elections and will be again in 2012.
The legislation would give hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16, and who have been here for five years and graduated from high school or gained an equivalency degree, a chance to gain legal status if they joined the military or attended college.
Earlier, Democrats took to the House floor to paint the measure as a matter of basic decency.
"Have a little compassion," Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said, directing his remarks at the GOP. "These children came here, they didn't decide to come here. They know no other country. Some of them don't even know the language of the country in which they were born, and they deserve to have a right as free Americans."
Their pleas did little to move firm Republican opposition.
Just eight Republicans joined Democrats to back the bill, while more than three dozen Democrats broke with their party to vote against it.