DREAM Act Passes House, Faces Gritty Senate Test

Immigration bill's future grim if it fails in lame-duck session
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2010 6:16 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2010 7:46 AM CST
DREAM Act Passes Houses, Faces Gritty Senate Test
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Ill., and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010.   (Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – The DREAM Act cleared the House last night, reports Politico, in a 216-198 vote that split mostly along partisan lines. Democrats immediately hailed the victory, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it symbolic "of what it means to be American," and President Obama lauding it as a critical first step in immigration reform. But the pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young people brought here illegally faces something of a nightmare this morning in the Senate, notes the AP.

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Even supporters admit Harry Reid has a daunting task in cobbling together 60 votes in the Senate, though House Dems had hoped to lend the DREAM Act momentum by passing it first. But the measure—which would give "green cards" to some illegal immigrants under 30 who have been in the country at least five years if they attend college or join the military for two years—inspires fierce opponents: “Americans want Congress to end the lawlessness, but this bill would have us surrender to it," says Sen. Jeff Sessions. DREAM has been mired in Congress for a decade, and has little chance of passing after the new Congress takes office in January.
(Read more Dream Act stories.)

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