MSNBC reports that the DREAM Act, a bill that would have provided legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, was blocked in the Senate on Saturday. The vote in the Senate was 55-41. The bill needed at least 60 votes to move on in the legislation process.
USA Today reports that this vote will kill the bill for a year, and possibly for the rest of President Obama's term. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina criticized Democrats for pushing the act during a lame-duck Congress, at a time when the Senate no longer controlled by Democrats. "You're not doing this to advance the issue," said Graham. "You're doing it to advance your situation politically."
USA Today reports that Graham warned the Dream Act and other immigration acts will not pass in the Senate "until we see our borders secured." Obama argues that the DREAM Act corrects, "one of the most egregious flaws in a badly broken immigration system." Stating that the immigration system punishes children "who have grown up in America, speak English, and have excelled in our communities".
MSNBC reports that the DREAM Act stood for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. The Act would have granted legal status if the individual was under 30 years old, migrated to the U.S. before the age of 16, and if they completed 2 years of military service or enrollment in college.
MSNBC reports that supporters of the bill tried to target senators from states with high Latino populations, saying the bill would reward hard working individuals. Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions argued that the bill would provided "incentives" for illegal immigration.
The USA Today reports that Sessions said, "This bill is a law that at its fundamental core is a reward for illegal activity."