The dream is over, possibly forever, possibly until some time after the 2012 election–if and when the political climate changes in Washington.
Once again, the DREAM Act that would provide a path to citizenship for young people who were brought into the country by the undocumented failed to break a Republican-led filibuster in the U.S. Senate this morning.
That effectively kills the decade-old immigration reform legislation this year.
Senate Democrats came up five votes short of the 60 needed to advance the House-passed bill, which would provide a path to citizenship for up to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children if they attend college or join the military for two years. The 55-41 vote was mostly along party lines, though a handful of Democrats — perhaps fearful of their 2012 election outlook — also voted against the DREAM Act.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin pleaded with his colleagues from the floor to vote for the DREAM Act:
“Many of you have told me that you're lying awake at night, tossing and turning over this vote, because you know how hard it's going to be politically, that some people will use it against you,” Durbin reportedly said. “But I might say, if you can summon the courage to vote for the DREAM Act today, you will join ranks with senators before you, who came to the floor of these United States and made history with their courage. Who stood up and said the cause of justice is worth the political risk.”
The U.S. Senate chambers is obviously the wrong place to go searching for courage.