'Dream Act' Fails to Get Enough Votes for Senate Debate

October 24, 2007

Washington — Legislation that would have provided a path to legal residency for some illegal immigrants and made them eligible for federal student-loan and work-study programs failed to get enough votes in the U.S. Senate today to receive further consideration on the floor.

Advocates of the legislation, S 2205, needed 60 votes to begin debate. They fell eight votes short, with a tally of 52 to 44.

The vote is likely to herald the end of Congressional debate on major immigration issues for the year, the Associated Press reported.

The bill, known as the Dream Act, does not include provisions to repeal a 1996 federal immigration law that has served as a basis for legal challenges to several state laws that extend in-state tuition rates to some students who entered the United States illegally but who graduated from those states’ high schools.

But it would open up the federal student-loan and work-study programs to immigrants who entered the United States illegally when they were under 16 and who have lived in the country for at least five years, have graduated from an American high school, and have been enrolled for at least two years in college or the military. —Sara Hebel