Moments ago, by a vote of 55-41, the U.S. Senate voted against cloture of debate to permit a majority of senators who support the DREAM Act (the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) to join the House of Representatives and pass this significant legislation.
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF, issued the following statement in response to today's vote on the DREAM Act:
"Democracy lost out today as a minority of the United States Senate refused to permit a vote on the merits of the DREAM Act. In the face of extraordinarily committed youth and a nationwide movement, obstinately obstructionist senators refused to allow a bill with obvious and enduring benefits to our nation's future to move forward. Sacrificed to transitory and shortsighted political trends were some of our nation's most critical constitutional and guiding principles. Enactment of the DREAM Act would have vindicated longstanding values that have served to make our nation great. This is a critical political moment, and the Latino community and the entire nation will surely hold accountable the political leaders who cravenly blocked progress today."
For the last decade, MALDEF has advocated on behalf of permitting hard-working undocumented students educated in the United States to achieve their dreams of serving the nation in which they grew up by pursuing higher education or service in the armed forces. The DREAM Act holds substantial public support: 70%, according to a recent poll by First Focus, and 66 %, according to Lake Research Partners. The DREAM Act would provide a qualified path to citizenship otherwise not available to roughly 755,000 immigrant youth and young adults, specifically for those completing two years of college or military service.