AILA DREAM Updates: Senate Fails to Invoke Cloture on the DREAM Act

12/18/10 Update:

On 12/18/10, the Senate failed on a motion to invoke cloture on the DREAM Act (H.R. 5281) by a 55-41 vote. The failed vote means that the DREAM Act will not progress any further in the Senate.

12/17/10 Update:

On 12/16/10, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed cloture on the DREAM Act (H.R. 5281) setting the bill up for the critical cloture vote in the Senate expected for Saturday, December 18. The Senate will need 60 votes for the DREAM Act to move forward.

This is the vote we've all been waiting for. With only days left in the lame duck session of Congress, there won't be another chance.

All congressional offices should be contacted, but if you live in these states, we REALLY need your support because one of your Senators is a SWING VOTE on DREAM!

ALASKA: Murkowski
KANSAS: Brownback
MAINE: Collins & Snowe
MICHIGAN: Stabenow
OHIO: Voinovich
TEXAS: Hutchison
UTAH: Bennett & Hatch
VIRGINIA: Warner & Webb

12/09/10 Update:

On 12/9/10, the Senate decided to shift its focus to the House-passed version of the DREAM Act (H.R. 6497) and withdrew consideration of S.3992 by a 59-40 vote. We now expect the Senate to take up H.R. 6497 within the next several days - likely after the tax cuts and other big issues get addressed.

12/08/10 Update:

Late on 12/8/10 the House passed the DREAM Act on a vote of 216 to 198. The DREAM Act was added as an amendment to H.R. 5281. The text of the House bill was filed on Monday night as H.R. 6497.

The Senate is expected to vote on the DREAM Act Thursday morning. The Senate, by agreement, postponed their vote to ensure that the House could complete its vote.

12/08/10 Update:

On 12/8/10, a new version of the DREAM Act was introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6497) by Rep. Berman (D-CA).

The bill contains numerous changes from the latest version of the DREAM Act introduced in the Senate (S.3992). For more information on the main differences between H.R. 6497 and S. 3992, read AILA’s analysis.

Shortly after its introduction, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate for H.R. 6497, which showed that the bill would reduce deficits by about $2.2 billion over the 2011-2020 period. For the purposes of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (Pay-Go), the bill would decrease deficits by $4 million over the same period.

We expect votes on the DREAM Act to take place today, but the timing remains extremely fluid at this point.

12/07/10 Update:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed for cloture on the DREAM Act (S.3992) the fifth version of the DREAM Act introduced in the Senate during the 111th Congress, setting DREAM up for a vote by Wednesday, December 8th.

On 11/30/10, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a new version of the DREAM Act (S.3992) with the aim of attracting broader support for DREAM to get the requisite 60 votes to pass the Senate during the current "lame duck" session of Congress.

The earliest Reid could file a cloture motion on the new bill would be this coming Thursday, December 2nd. After waiting out the requisite 30 hours post-cloture, it could "ripen" over the weekend, and effectively come up for a vote on Monday, December 6th at the earliest.

The new version addresses many of the concerns raised by Republicans and tightens the restrictions on eligibility in several respects. Among other changes, the new version does the following:

  • Excludes from eligibility those with certain criminal convictions, such as for offenses punishable by a maximum term of more than 1 year (felony) or 3 misdemeanors
  • Requires all applicants to provide their biometric data to DHS, to submit to background checks and medical examination, and to register for military selective service
  • Requires applicants to pay all taxes
  • Sets the cut-off age to those who are less than 30 years-old on the date of enactment
  • Provides a "safe harbor" from removal only to those applicants who present a prima facie case of eligibility
  • Extends the good moral character requirement back to the date the alien entered the United States rather than the date of enactment of DREAM
  • Expands the applicable grounds of inadmissibility to include the health-related, public charge, smuggling, draft dodging, and unlawful voting grounds
  • Expands the applicable grounds of deportability to include public charge, unlawful voting, and marriage fraud grounds
  • Excludes those who participated in persecution
  • Clarifies that no one can apply before 1 year after enactment
  • Requires applicants to demonstrate eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence
  • Eliminates repeal of the in-state tuition ban
  • Defines institution of higher education to include only U.S.-based programs
  • Requires those who subsequently apply for adjustment to meet the English language and civics requirements typically required for naturalization
  • Expands the circumstances where disclosure of confidential information about DREAM applicants is required for homeland security or national security purposes
  • Creates conditional nonimmigrant status for 10 years, followed by 3 years of LPR status prior to application for naturalization

Senator Durbin (D-IL) has also recently introduced two paired down versions of the DREAM Act (S.3962) and (S.3963) in the hopes of getting the bill passed during the lame duck session.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 10120166.