A DREAM deferred

Haley Sansom, Layout Editor

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The Senate voted against the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors [DREAM] Act on Sept. 21, waking immigrant students up from their long dream of becoming American citizens. The DREAM Act was part of the National Defense and Authorization Act, which also included the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [DADT] repeal. The Democrats were unable to overcome the Republican filibuster, and the final vote was 56-43 not to proceed with debating the bill.

 Many republican senators had said that they were in support of the bill, but the votes revealed the opposite. President Obama, who has said that he supports the DREAM Act, chastised Republicans for their actions against the National Defense and Authorization Act.

The DREAM Act was developed by Republican Senator Orrin G. Hatch and Democratic Senator Richard Durbin. This legislation would have granted immigrants that were going to college or joining the military a path to citizenship. To receive the DREAM Act benefits, students would need to have been brought to the United States before the age of 16, been in the United States for at least five consecutive years, graduated from a US high school, gotten a GED, or been accepted into college and be between 12 and 35 years of age. Students would also need to be without a criminal record. If the DREAM Act had passed, immigrants that met these requirements would go through a six-year-long path to citizenship and would be required to either complete two years of college or serve in the military for two years.

While the DREAM Act is on hold for now, there have been rumors of it reappearing after the November elections. There are hopes that the DREAM Act will be introduced as a stand-alone bill and voted on during the lame duck session before new members take office.

Rallying for the DREAM Act is expected to continue through the November elections until the bill is voted on again. Until then, the thousands of students supporting the DREAM Act will have to wait just a little bit longer.

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