DREAM Act doesn’t move forward

12/18/2010
The U.S. Senate debated/voted The Dream Act and DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL legislation immigration bill this morning:

You can watch the debate here: www.c-span.org

DREAM Act: 55 YES. 41 NO. It doesn’t move forward.

Drew Angerer/The New York Time

The bill “Don’t ask, don’t tell” moves forward. 63 YES, 33 NO!

Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted against bringing the bill to the floor; Republican Sens. Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, and Robert Bennett voted for it.

Senate Democrats came up five votes short of the 60 needed to advance the House-passed bill, which would provide a path to citizenship for up to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children if they attend college or join the military for two years.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin pleaded with his colleagues from the floor to vote for the DREAM Act — or as he described it, an act of “political courage.”

“Many of you have told me that you’re lying awake at night, tossing and turning over this vote, because you know how hard it’s going to be politically, that some people will use it against you,” Durbin said. “But I might say, if you can summon the courage to vote for the DREAM Act today, you will join ranks with senators before you, who came to the floor of these United States and made history with their courage. Who stood up and said the cause of justice is worth the political risk.”

Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, an immigrant advocacy group which has been fighting for the DREAM Act, said: For the lawmakers who voted against the bill, “it will be a defining vote in their career. They’re standing at the schoolhouse door, saying no to the best and the brightest of the Latino immigrant community,” he said, “and they will have a lot of explaining to do if they run for reelection or aspire to higher office.”

NALEO:

“The NALEO Educational Fund is troubled that the U.S. Senate today failed to pass cloture on the DREAM Act. The legislation, which ensures that motivated and accomplished immigrant students brought here at a young age through no fault of their own continue their education and journey toward becoming full Americans, fell short 55-41. The DREAM Act has wide bipartisan support across the country, which was shown by last week’s historic vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, and by the endorsement of nearly every major newspaper editorial board. The measure has been an important and key issue for Latino voters, and its failure is dismissive of a key priority for a growing segment of the electorate.

“The NALEO Educational Fund’s constituency includes more than 2,000 elected Latino education and school board members who have first-hand knowledge and experience in understanding the great impact the DREAM Act would have to our country and communities. Those who will benefit from the DREAM Act are precisely the high-quality individuals we want in our country, and would help us compete in the global economy. The legislation would also help strengthen our military by expanding the opportunity for thousands of patriotic young people to serve and defend our country.

 

    “While this vote is disheartening, the work toward eventual passage does not end with today’s action in the upper chamber. The dreams of these students will continue together with a broad and bipartisan coalition that includes the military, business, and labor, faith-based and civic groups. The NALEO Educational Fund will continue to strongly support the DREAM Act and urge congressional leadership to reconsider this measure that is so vital to our society.”

    About NALEO Educational Fund

    The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

    NEXT TIME YOU VOTE, remember the senators that voted against it  and in favor.

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