The DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill widely supported by the American public – and Latino voters in particular – was blocked from coming to a vote in the U.S. Senate when a minority of Senators used the filibuster rules to prevent the bill from getting a vote. Texas Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn were among the minority, nearly all Republicans, who blocked a vote on the bill.
If enacted the DREAM Act would have provided a conditional pathway to legal immigration status for young undocumented immigrants who (1) were brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children; (2) have grown up in our communities as Americans, and (3) have demonstrated their commitment to our society by completing at least 2 years of college or military service. Without the DREAM Act, these millions of young people – who are as American as any one of us – cannot legally work, are deportable without warning, are often excluded from higher education, and are prevented from fully contributing their demonstrated knowledge, skills, educational achievement, and initiative to our society.
There were more than enough votes in the Senate to approve the bill, had it been allowed to proceed to a vote. The House of Representatives had approved the bill a week earlier by a significant margin.