Dream for Undocumented Students Shattered

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The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2007 failed for the third time this year with a vote in the Senate of 52 in support of it, 44 against it, and 4 not voting. The bill needed sixty votes to pass. Local senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) voted for the bill. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) voted against. Many Democrats after winning the Senate last fall feared anti-immigration groups’ backlash and a dozen Republicans worried about the loss of workers and immigrant children in their states.

The bill would allow undocumented students who were brought here as children, the possibility of citizenship by being of good moral character and attending college or joining the military. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan group, estimated that the Dream Act would allow 279,000 students to attend college or join the military. Another 715,000 more students between the ages of 5 and 17 would be eligible in the future, the Institute said.

 

Durbin argued on the senate floor that many speeches, amendments, bills and resolutions are offered but very few have an impact. He said that few people pay attention to the senate bills and even fewer cared.

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“The reason why this bill will be noticed is that literally thousand of young people across America know that their fate and future will be determined by this vote,” he said. “Mom and dad said: we are leaving and the kids packed their suitcases and followed. That is their crime. That is the only crime you can point to.

 

Grassley argued on the same floor why he vas voting against the DREAM Act.

 

“Even though I support the end goal of this legislation; that is to provide children with an education, I do not think the bill is perfect,” Grassley said. “The bill didn’t go through the proper channels and was not approved by the Judiciary Committee.”

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