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DREAM Act delayed in Senate: Prospects of cloture by year's end fading

Undocumented students from around the country demand the passage of the Dream Act outside the White House, despite the threat of arrests and deportation.

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Washington Post Staff
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Thursday, December 9, 2010; 1:44 PM

The DREAM Act, which proponents had hoped would come to a vote in the lame duck session of Congress this month, was delayed by the Senate:

The Senate voted Thursday morning to put off a decision on a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought into this country as children.

The vote on the citzenship bill, known as the DREAM act, will probably be shifted to next week, said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D).

Senate Democrats had planned to take up the bill--putting it up for a procedural vote that was likely to doom it. Instead, they voted for the delay, which will allow the Senate to take up an amended version of the bill that passed the House on Wednesday.

While Democrats failed to gather the necessary 60 votes to pass the measure, Senate Republicans unfied in opposition to a vote on the DREAM Act. As AP reported:

Facing GOP objections, Democrats put aside the so-called Dream Act and said they'd try again to advance it before year's end. They're short of the 60 votes needed to do so, however, and critics in both parties quickly said they won't change their minds in the waning days of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

"This is mainly a political exercise rather than a serious attempt to deal with our broken immigration system," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, one of several Democrats who have broken with their leaders to oppose the bill, said he too would block efforts to consider it.

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