DREAM Act Killed by Senate Filibuster
12/17/2010 BOSTON -- The Senate failed today to overcome a filibuster against the DREAM Act, which would have allowed undocumented immigrant youth to enter a pathway to legalization by attending college or serving in the military.To end a filibuster, 60 votes are needed, and the vote was 55 to 41. Massachusetts' senators split their votes, with John Kerry (Dem.) voting yes and Scott Brown (Rep.) voting no.
The overall vote was not strictly partisan. In the end, the bill got three Republican votes, with Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Indiana's Richard Lugar from and outgoing Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah voting yes. Six Democratic senators voted against the bill: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who switched her vote at the last minute.
The following is a statement on the vote by Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Masachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
"We express our deep sympathy to the hundreds of thousands of hard-working youth across the nation who saw their dreams deferred yet again by a minority in the United States Senate, who would not even allow the DREAM Act come to a debate and vote. As Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said in his passionate floor speech, the DREAM Act would have served children who turned every day in school to pledge their allegiance before the flag of the United States of America. Today, Senator Scott Brown and others scorned that allegiance, scorned the cause of justice, scorned the betterment of our communities and our economy, and scorned the will of the American people. Voters in Massachusetts, the seventh largest immigrant state in the nation, will not forget his shameful action.
We understand that the temptation among immigrants and their allies at this juncture is to give in to despondency --- a sentiment intensified in Massachusetts, where Brown's no vote comes barely a day after Governor Deval Patrick's surprising decision to sign onto the deeply flawed "Secure Communities" program.
Even so, we must not forget how far we have come. The DREAM Act passed the House and would have passed the Senate had it been allowed to come to a vote. We ask that our young people, who have been such an inspiration in this fight, not give up the struggle for their place in the only nation they know as home. We thank our supporters, the Massachusetts House delegation, Senator Kerry, and the Senate and House leadership for helping to bring us this far. In the coming year, we will continue to mobilize, to present the facts, to register new voters, and to eventually make the dreams of all the residents of this great commonwealth and nation come true."