Dream Act – Just a Dream for now, Senate Blocks Action on Defense Bill

Bad news for Dream Act supporters, On 9/21/10, the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to pass a motion to proceed to consideration of the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill (S. 3454). Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had previously announced his intention to offer the DREAM Act as an amendment to the bill. After it was evident that the votes needed to proceed would fall short, Senator Reid switched his vote to “no” in order to preserve his right to bring the bill up again which would mostly likely be during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress.

Senate Republicans were joined by Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor in voting down the measure by a vote of 56-43.

Here is what the President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association had to say:

That’s why it was so frustrating yesterday to watch the Senate Republicans obstruct yet another legislative initiative; this time in the context of a procedural vote on a motion to proceed to consideration of the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill (S. 3454). That means the Senate won’t be able to consider the Dream Act as an amendment to the bill along with other issues like the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays in the military. At the risk of sounding too partisan, it just seems like in their zeal to thwart President Obama and the Democrats the Republicans Congress will obstruct anything they do, even if it helps the country.

So the promising youth that will benefit from the Dream Act have to wait a little longer. And so will America, which will reap tremendous rewards from their full participation in American society. Even the Defense Department understands the value these young people bring to the U.S. strongly supports passage of the Dream Act as one of its official goals for helping to maintain “a mission-ready, all-volunteer force.” And educators and others who also support the act recognize how much better it is to encourage the aspirations of young people, not to consign them to lives of under-the-table jobs and unmet potential.

The Dream Act targets for future citizenship exactly the kind of people America should be embracing: young soldiers, scholars, strivers, future leaders.

We will update our readers on new developments regarding the Dream Act coming soon.