WASHINGTON, DC — In a party-line vote today, the Senate failed to take up the Department of Defense authorization bill, which was the first hurdle in moving to a vote on the DREAM Act. This means that there will not be a vote on the DREAM Act this week. It is now unclear when the bill will come up. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“Today, we witnessed an outrageous lack of leadership among Senate Republicans, who once again showed that politics ultimately trumps the will of the people. Rather than vote to allow for the Defense bill to move forward and bring the DREAM Act to the table, a minority of senators instead have chosen to quibble disingenuously over procedures. Ultimately, those in opposition voted not in favor of process, but against young immigrants who have shown more leadership than some of our elected officials. As a result, the dreams of the young men and women who have been waiting to fulfill their highest potential and contribute to America will continue to be on hold, and our country will suffer.
“DREAM students and their allies showed their true power. Under the inspiring leadership of Dreamers, we have made more than 100,000 calls, participated in 70 events in 26 states, and sent 90,000 faxes. Those in our ranks range from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Religious leaders have prayed for Congress to do the right thing.
“This battle may be over for this week, but we cannot walk away from the fight. Congress must not let the small but vocal minority thwart the will of 70 percent of Americans who believe in the DREAM Act. We applaud Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin for their leadership. As Sen. Reid stated on the floor today, ‘We will vote on the DREAM Act — the only question is when.’ We hope Sen. Reid doesn’t delay. Students can’t wait any longer.”