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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 12/18/2010

Senate defeats DREAM Act

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 12:50 p.m.

On a 55-to-41 vote, the Senate on Saturday failed to proceed on a bill that would have provided a path to citizenship for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Five Democrats -- Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) -- joined most Republicans in voting against the measure, known as the DREAM Act. Three Republicans, Sens. Bob Bennett (Utah), Richard Lugar (Ind.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), voted yes.

Four members -- Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) -- were not present for the vote.

The measure would have granted citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were under the age of 16 when they were brought to the United States by their parents, have been in the country at least five years, have a U.S. high school diploma or the equivalent and have completed two years of college or military service.

Proponents of the DREAM Act argue that it would prevent children from being held responsible for the choices of their parents and would contribute to the country's military readiness. Opponents of the legislation say that it would provide a path to legal status not only for young people but also for those who knowingly broke the law and argue that the bill would amount to amnesty.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had planned a vote on the measure last week, but with that vote appearing on track to fail, Reid called it off in favor of allowing Saturday's vote on a version of the bill identical to one passed by the House earlier this month.

In a statement, President Obama lamented the bill's defeat and said that the administration "will not give up on the DREAM Act, or on the important business of fixing our broken immigration system."

"In an incredibly disappointing vote today, a minority of Senators prevented the Senate from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country. ... There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation," Obama said.

At a press conference with Durbin, Menendez and other Democratic senators after the vote, Reid took aim at Republicans for blocking the bill's passage and vowed to continue pushing forward.

"Senate Republicans spent years demonizing these children," Reid said. "They played to people's worst fears. ... We're not going to give up. The DREAM Act is going to pass. It didn't pass today, but it's going to pass. It's the right thing to do."

The scene in the Senate on Saturday was emotional as the roll call was being taken. The galleries were crowded with more than 60 young people who had traveled to Washington, many for the first time, to push for the measure's passage. Many of them clasped hands in the air with those next to them as the roll call proceeded; some were wearing full graduation caps and gowns; some bounced their legs nervously as the vote proceeded. When the final tally was announced, the chamber was mostly silent; a few wiped their eyes.

Most of the young people who were present for Saturday's vote were also in the Senate late Friday night as Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) spoke passionately to a nearly empty Senate chamber in favor of the bill's passage.

Veronica Cervantes, 20, and Marcos Larios, 23, both students at Austin Community College, drove 36 hours from Texas to Washington in a minivan with 15 people to lobby for the DREAM Act's passage. The two, who came as part of a group called United We Dream, said they were making their first visit to Washington.

Larios, who drove the van along with one other person, said that the group arrived in Washington around 6 a.m. Monday morning, rested for a few hours, and then set out about 9 a.m. to begin lobbying senators for the bill's passage.

Late Friday night, after Durbin and Menendez finished their speeches on the Senate floor, Larios and Cervantes were optimistic about the bill's passage.

"We're all watching this," said Larios, who was born in California but whose family is from Guadalajara and Jalisco, Mexico. "I see it from a moral stance. ... We will benefit as citizens. These people are inspiring to me so much. Just going out in the community, serving, just massive amounts of service that I've seen personally. And whenever I have an endeavor, they're the first ones I call and say, 'When do you want to do this?' And it's like, wow."

"We had a children's book drive to give books for kids, and I mean, you guys were the first ones to help me," Larios added, gesturing toward Cervantes.

Cervantes, who was born in Mexico and was brought to the United States by her mother when she was 2, called the vote "very historic" and said that the group was lobbying "from nine to five" every day this week.

"I can't blame her for bringing me here," Cervantes said of her mother's decision to bring her to the United States as a child.

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 18, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

And a particularly interesting case from North Carolina:

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2010/12/16/update-durham-brothers-face-human-smuggling-charges-after-raid/#comments

"The brothers, who are originally from Mexico but got their U.S. citizenships in the 1980s through marriages to American women, are accused of paying the 100 workers they used for their prospering construction business less than the minimum wage, even taking out money from paychecks to pay off coyotes, or smugglers, that brought the laborers from Mexico to U.S."

Nice way to repay the country for their US citizenship! Not only employing illegals and paying them less than minimum wages, but smuggling them in, too!

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2:

http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/National_News/MISSOURI_WOMAN_PLEADS_GUILTY_TO_EMPLOYING_ILLEGAL_ALIENS/37551

Employer name: Hua Huang

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_16792343

Employer name: Marino Sandoval

http://www.radioiowa.com/2010/11/22/woman-pleads-in-immigration-conspiracy-in-vinton/

Employer name: Phuon Ca Long

http://www.tbd.com/blogs/amanda-hess/2010/12/korean-room-salon-busted-for-harboring-provocatively-dressed-immigrants-5374.html

Employer name: Sang Bun Surh

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/Bakery-Managers-Admit-to-Hiring-Illegal-Workers--111067574.html

Manager's names:
The bakery's owner Jesse William Fadick, two bakery supervisors, Rigoberto Sarmiento-Machuca and Rogelio Machuca-Sarmiento, and an employee, Abel Baizabal, were charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens. The supervisors and employee were also alleged illegal immigrants.

Gosh, that was just what I found in five minutes worth of searching on Google news. And not a Fox news report among them!

I just love being skooled by you smarter, more edicated, more literat libruls! It shore is educashional loggin' on here and getting' the benufits of yore superior knowlidge and branepower! You all so smart an' all, you all know everythung dontcha?

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Shame on the democrats that voted against our American kids and the unemployed.

If the DREAM Act had been approved there will be 2 million less American kids going to college over the next several years because they wanted to give those slots to illegal aliens.

Also DREAM would have resulted in 2 to 4 MILLION illegal aliens getting 10-year work permits immediately to compete against 22 million unemployed Americans.

Posted by: fury60 | December 19, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

So,next must come MASS DEPORTATION of all illegal aliens now that the Obama Backdoor
Illegal Alien Amnesty Dream Act Nightmare
has been defeated in the US Senate and you
betcha those illegal alien deportations must start with those employed by House
Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi & her
husband Paul Pelosi in all their California
businesses and the Expulsion from Congress
of Nancy Pelosi for Violating US Federal Immigration Laws when the Pelosi's employed
hundreds of illegal aliens & jail Nancy and
Paul Pelosi and every illegal alien employer in the USA here & Now.

We seriously need to look at Mass Departing
of all Hispanics,Mexicans,and Latinos both
Illegal and Legal as Undesirable Aliens as
well here. Enough is Enough!

And FIRE ICE Head Morton,Sec of DHS Janet
Napolitano,and Joke US Attorney General Eric Holder and unless Barack Hussein Obama
Immediatelty Produces A Real American Birth
Certificate then Impeach and Deport Illegal
Alien Barack Hussein Obama as well,

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | December 19, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

So,there really is a Santa Claus as the Defeat in the US Senate of the Dream Act
Backdoor Illegal Alien Amnesty proves it...
It's time to fire Napolitano,Morton & Holder and time to deport every illegal alien in the USA and throw their employers
in jail and I agree start with California
Illegal Alien Employers Nancy & Paul Pelosi
and bring Expulsion from Congress Charges
Against Democrat House Minority Leader &
Illegal Alien Employer Law breaker Lying
Nancy Pelosi! Impeach Obama as well.

Posted by: redheadclaudine | December 19, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on WAPO and tell the TRUTH here as,
it was the Over-Powering Pressure of the
American people in total opposition to the
Barack Husein Obama/Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid
Illegal Alien Back Door Amnesty Dream Act
Scheme that forced the US Senate to defeat
it now then. There are already many good loyal Americans planning to force ICE and
DHS and DOJ to arrest and deport all illegal aliens and jail their employers and
that needs to start with the Expulsion from
Congress of Major California Illegal Alien
Employer Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Firing of ICE Director
John Morton,Sec of Homeland Security Failure Janet Napolitano and US Attorney General Fraudster Eric Holder and Immediate
Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama just for openers! No Dream Act! No More Illegal
Alien Amnesty Ever Again! Jail Obama,Morton
Napolitano,Holder,Reid and Nancy Pelosi!

Posted by: KarenKay2009 | December 18, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats were just playing politics with this bill. They had even dropped the maximum age requirements for eligibility in the bill from 35 down to 29. They themselves had already knocked some people off. They did that to lessen the people eligibile to try to get Republicans on board. They thought that would make the Republicans think the Democratic party would be gaining less new votes from this. That is not the way to pass a bill.

Posted by: brandonjohns11 | December 18, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

So thanks God and US Senate for killing the
Obama/Pelosi/Reid Back Door Illegal Alien Amensty and now Mass Deport all illegal aliens in the USA starting with all of the
ones California Illegal Alien Employer Nancy Pelosi is employing in the Pelosi family business and arrest their employers
and arrest Nancy and Paul Pelosi first. Fire ICE Director John Morton,Sec of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and
USAG Eric Holder! Impeach Barack Obama Now!
Vote every US Senator & Member of Congress
that voted for the Dream Act Out!

Posted by: KathyAnn1980 | December 18, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

So thanks God and US Senate for killing the
Obama/Pelosi/Reid Back Door Illegal Alien Amensty and now Mass Deport all illegal aliens in the USA starting with all of the
ones California Illegal Alien Employer Nancy Pelosi is employing in the Pelosi family business and arrest their employers
and arrest Nancy and Paul Pelosi first. Fire ICE Director John Morton,Sec of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and
USAG Eric Holder! Impeach Barack Obama Now!
Vote every US Senator & Member of Congress
that voted for the Dream Act Out!

Posted by: KathyAnn1980 | December 18, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

This is a good thing. The United States does not need to be underhandedly stealing the best and brightest citizens of other countries. They are the hope of the future to rebuild their homelands.

Posted by: wonderingstevie | December 18, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

hmm.. most people who are against this law sound extremely ignorant.
Firstly, i must say that one beneficial commodity that the United States will get from this law is, more students will push the economy forwards.. Since everyone complains about being in recession before and what not, this is a simple way out. I frankly was in support of the Dream Act whether or not i was 'legal' or not. Most current students wouldn't want it to pass because the 'illegal' students will overcome.. i think they're scared of a little competition. If you are a good student, you shouldn't worry about your peers. Those who strive will achieve. another thing, Securing the borders is an excellent idea, but in an orderly fashion would be even better. Illegal Immigration isn't going to stop, ever. The future of America can be all depends on on-coming students, who cares if our grandmas were illegal or not. Benj Frank didn't. lol. ;)

Posted by: HIGHlyeducated | December 18, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Immigration Reform starts with making sure that anyone ever found illegal in the US can never become a legal resident or citizen.

That goes for the bad dreamers also, since as adults they are breaking laws about visas and income reporting and identification - in their own native lands - and in the US. They need to report to their embassies and quit cheating by trying to cut in line around legal immigrants and cheating in school work.

Now we know who in politics is responsible for lax enforcement and low resources for identifying and removing illegals. They're also responsible for drug addiction in the US, drug violence in mexico, and using illegals for low paid slaves. Illegals are the transport circuit for illegal drugs and cheap labor into the us, and laundered money and illegal arms out -- by the millions.

Their open support for the dream act exposes their closed door support for the underground economy which undermines workers' rights, workplace safety, product safety, job creation, civil rights, and resource conservation. Illegal workers don't complain when illegal bosses won't promote them, won't pay overtime, sexually harass them, or worse.

Those officials that support illegal immigration and back-door amnesty have shown their faces, raised their voices, and registered their votes. They put personal gain above the nation.

When federal officials in the US and mexico won't protect the borders, that duty falls back on state and local agencies. It's clear where the administration stands. We need whistle blowers to expose high level corruption in the US and mexico.

Clearly they should never be trusted. Make them pay in the pocket book, in the polling place, and by exposing their ways. And send them to prison when they're caught conspiring with, housing, employing, or transporting illegals -- including bad dreamers.

Especially the bad dreamers returning home from trying to subvert congress today.

Posted by: nomemoleste | December 18, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's really despicable that the Dream Act failed in the Senate. Our country let Nazis immigrate here after WWII, and gave citizenship to Confederate soldiers who tried to destroy this country.

But a few kids who were raised here and whose parents work here can't even apply for citizenship.

I think Obama took these kids for a ride. I will not vote for any Democrats in 2012. If Sarah Palin becomes President, so what.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | December 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"The root of this ILLEGAL invastion are the ILLEGAL'S renters & employeers whould are violating are law. The USA taxpayer picks up the tab."

Yes, MaryJ, look, even this illiterate person banging on a computer gets it. You have to arrest the people who employ illegal migrants, or you will never "seal the border".

The country can not dangle jobs in front of people and pretend they don't want them at the same time, blame them for coming here and taking those jobs.

But again, Republican voters are not very smart. They don't understand who makes money exploiting illegal labor.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The so called dream act is a SLAP IN THE FACE TO EVERY AMERICAN for if it passed, you and your children would pay dearly in more than by higher taxes. Every ILLEGAL in the USA is ILLEGAL and should never have USA citizenship by their ILLEGAL entry to our country. The root of this ILLEGAL invastion are the ILLEGAL'S renters & employeers whould are violating are law. The USA taxpayer picks up the tab. These ILLEGALS are not in the fields only but takeing other good jobs as well for scab wages while Americans are unemployed. The groups of dogooders that speak out for the ILLEGALS should file their groups income and pay the tax due instead of claiming tax exempt. Remeber who voted for this dream act to vote AGAINST them if you can when they run again. I will.

Posted by: usapdx | December 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Whenever I see somebody busted in the news for employing illegal immigrants, they usually have a Hispanic or sometimes Asian name."

Isn't that amazing. FoxNews? Well that settles that question. You see perp walks in "the news" and so you know who owns what. Intelligence can't be taught, unfortunately.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Dream Act was so full of loopholes and giveaways (10-year work permit to anyone who applies?) that it was destined to fail. It was an affront to all who abide by our laws, especially would-be immigrants waiting patiently in their home countries. That's where the back of the line is. We as a nation get to decide how many and what kind of people get to immigrate here. There is no self-selection or open borders policy that is acceptable to us if we are to maintain our great nation that is founded on respect for the rule of law. Illegal immigrants have shown from the get-go that they have fundamentally no respect for our laws. The only thing that matters to them is whether they can break in here and stay.

Posted by: merbc | December 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh and who cares if the owners are Hispanics, or Republicans, they should go to jail. If the jobs cease to exist, the flow slows to serious criminals only. This insane paradox where we pretend to not want the people we provide jobs for in the millions is absurd, it is insane.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hispanics own Hormel? Hispanics operate the meat packing industry? Hispanics own the casinos, the restaurant chains, the hotels and motels, the orchards, the mega-farms?
---
Whenever I see somebody busted in the news for employing illegal immigrants, they usually have a Hispanic or sometimes Asian name. So take your "blame-whitey for everything" rhetoric somewhere else.

Saunders: Damn straight. There is no place for Latin American padrone politics in the US. They can take their threats, their angry chanting and marching, their stupid "Che" banners, their begging and pleading, their baby-waving, their Spanish slogans, and go back home.

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hispanics own Hormel? Hispanics operate the meat packing industry? Hispanics own the casinos, the restaurant chains, the hotels and motels, the orchards, the mega-farms? What are talking about, a three man lawn mowing business? I am talking about millions of workers in huge industries.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Reminder, those business owners are Republicans."
----
Lots of them are "Hispanics" exploiting their own people. They are the ones with the best labor contacts in Mexico and Central America.

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"So you're saying if we don't give them what they want, they'll turn to crime?"

This is so stupid. Give them what they want? What are you talking about? Do you really think these kids will just starve to death? Do you really think there will be a mass deportation? Do you really think America's captains of industry want to secure the borders? People come here illegally because there are taking jobs that exist for them. Why don't you people understand that and stop, yes stop, jail whatever...the people (Republicans) who give them jobs? Do you think Democrats own the industries that thrive on illegal labor? Do you?


Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

There could not B a compelling reason why 4 of the 5 Democrats joined the Republicans 2 kill the Dream Act measure. The 1 exception Ben Nelson, 4 all the setbacks experienced by Nebraskans, should recall this senator as he is absolutely an embarrassment 2 all of we citizens. He is not deserving of the position. Without engaging in the minutia of the bill, if these senators, as a body, cannot support the logic of passage by 100 yeas, they do not belong in the 21st Century senate. God help us all. C'est la vie.

Posted by: vmax115 | December 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"make sure Hispanics brought here through no fault of their own grow up to lives in the shadow economy and of course, in uglier forms of crime."
--
So you're saying if we don't give them what they want, they'll turn to crime?

I thought these were the "best and brightest" who would "contribute" to our country. Not much of an endorsement for them, there.

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

There could not B a compelling reason why 4 of the 5 Democrats joined the Republicans 2 kill the Dream Act measure. The 1 exception Ben Nelson, 4 all the setbacks experienced by Nebraskans, should recall this senator as he is absolutely an embarrassment 2 all of we citizens. He is not deserving of the position. Without engaging in the minutia of the bill, if these senators, as a body, cannot support the logic of passage by 100 yeas, they do not belong in the 21st Century senate. God help us all. C'est la vie.

Posted by: vmax115 | December 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Secure the borders first..."

Idiot. Like that will ever happen. Way too much money is made exploiting illegal labor in this country. What, you didn't know that?
You think the money men in this country want an end to illegal labor? Reminder, those business owners are Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Mexican fascsists and their reconquista agenda was defeated.

Get this illegals: We don't want the US to become the corrupt, lawless hellhole that you fled from.

This country is not about bribing a higher official or using thuggery to make them cave to your demand like they do in Latin America.

Your Mexican fascist politics will always be defeated in the United States.

No reconquista, no rewards for criminal behavior, no rewards for cultural Marxism, no rewards for violating the sovereign and political territory of the United States.

You can now all use your activism that you learned in the United States and apply it to your own countries.

Good look and vaya con dios.

Posted by: RSaunders1 | December 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I am latina and I support the Act being defeated. It was a nightmare, not a dream. Secure the borders first, then consider immigration legislation. Those who come to the USA illegally, know exactly what they are doing and should accept the consequences.

Posted by: hdl549 | December 18, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead!
Ding Dong the Wicked Witch is Dead!

Which Old Witch?

The Dream Act Witch!

Ding Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead!!!!!

It's gonna be a very Merry Christmas indeed for law-abiding, taxpaying, American citizens and legal immigrants!

God Bless America!

Posted by: MaryJessel | December 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Stupid move Republicans, make sure Hispanics brought here through no fault of their own grow up to lives in the shadow economy and of course, in uglier forms of crime.

Everybody wants to secure the border. So why don't we? Republican business owners, obviously. Democrats don't want illegal immigration (unless you believe there is a multi-generational plot to increase D voters by hoping they will get naturalized some day, like you know, what Ronald Reagan did...kooky Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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