The Development, Relief and Education for Minors Act (the “DREAM Act”), which would grant conditional legal status to young, undocumented immigrants who are pursuing college educations or serving in the U.S. military, came up for vote in the U.S. Senate last week as a rider to the bill for repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Both legislative initiatives were stalled by a successful filibuster, but the Dream Act is not dead, as Democrats were just four votes shy of the 60 votes needed for success, and one of the negative votes was cast by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a procedural maneuver so he could raise the issue again later.
Furthermore, in the wake of the filibuster, young immigrants, primarily of Hispanic ethnicity, registered heavy call volume into Congress and significant amounts of negative commentary on social networking sites aimed at influencing public opinion.
A public outcry could provide the needed impetus to sway votes if Reid can successfully bring the Dream Act up for vote again soon. Since Congress will adjourn in early October to allow members to campaign for re-election, and since passage of the Act will become more dubious after the November elections, Reid will probably need to swing three votes quickly if he is to succeed in pushing the Act through this year.
If and when this new pathway to citizenship does become a reality, our office will be prepared to facilitate any related applications for conditional or permanent residency.
For more information about our immigration practice representing individuals and families seeking legal status, please visit the pertinent section of our Website or call our office at (847) 564-0712.