Immigrant DREAM Act Fails in Senate
Bill would have granted legal status to illegal immigrant students
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2010 10:38 AM CST
Activists participate in a rally to promote passage of the federal Dream Act Tuesday in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

(Newser) – Despite an intense campaign by Latino leaders and President Obama, the DREAM Act has fizzled in the Senate. The measure to give illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship fell five votes short of the necessary 60 votes to stave off a GOP filibuster, reports AP. Opponents generally said it would encourage illegal immigration, and the powerful Latino lobby warned beforehand of repercussions in 2012.

“This will be a watershed vote that Latinos will not forget,” said the president of the National Council of La Raza, one of the nation's biggest Hispanic groups, notes the New York Times. The bill passed the House last week, and one of its leading advocates there criticized the new political reality that initiatives like this need 60 votes in the Senate, instead of a majority, to succeed. "I thought the filibuster was for, like, going to war—not for everything," Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois tells the Hill.