AILA Expresses Disappointment Over Failed Senate Vote on DREAM Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, December 18, 2010

George Tzamaras or Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628 /

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is disappointed that, after successful passage in the House, the Senate failed to advance the bipartisan DREAM Act this morning. The legislation did not garner enough votes to overcome a procedural hurdle, even though with 55 votes it had the support of a majority of the chamber’s lawmakers.

“It was with a heavy heart that I watched the DREAM Act deferred to yet another Congress. After the historic House victory and the tremendous outpouring of grassroots support for this legislation that would help deserving young people, today’s failed cloture vote is a wrong-headed dénouement,” said AILA President David Leopold who watched the legislative proceedings from Capitol Hill.

“It was sad to see some U.S. Senators putting politics before principles to vote no on cloture, thereby attaching their names to the wrong side of history. The DREAM Act did not pass today, but inevitably it will be law.”

AILA will continue to fight for this legislation that will provide legal relief for the hundreds of thousands of young people who want to give back to the nation they call home. The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would have provided a conditional pathway to legal permanent residence for certain unauthorized youth who, as children, were brought to the U.S. if they: complete high school; demonstrate good moral character; and complete at least two years of higher education or serve for at least two years in the U.S. military.

This bipartisan bill would have brought our country one step closer to realizing our shared ideals of fairness and justice. Although not actualized today, the DREAM Act will one day be a part of the American meritocratic legacy.

“The failure of the DREAM Act today is frustrating especially knowing that the majority of Americans believe that it’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, some legislators fell prey to the myths and distortion that became a cancer on this debate that should have been about core American values,” concluded Leopold.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 10121819.