Move to Legalize Immigrant Kids Shot Down in Senate

DREAM Act dies with defense bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2010 1:18 AM CDT
Supporters of the DREAM Act march from the Boston Statehouse en route to the office of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., to deliver 1,500 letters asking for his support.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Newser) – A bill offering a path to legal residency for the children of illegal immigrants was blocked in the Senate yesterday. The DREAM Act—which was attached to the defense bill the GOP shot down—would have allowed people who came to the US when they were under 16, had a high school diploma, and had been in the country at least 5 years to become legal residents after spending two years in college or the military.

Senate Democrats vowed to reintroduce the bill but there is now almost no chance of it becoming law this year, the Washington Post notes. Republicans accused the Democrats of playing politics with the bill by attaching it to the defense bill, which also contained a measure to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Sen. Dick Durbin, who has been trying to pass the DREAM Act for a decade, said both measures are about justice and fairness. "We do not in this country hold the crimes and misdeeds of parents against their children," the Democrat said.

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