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House passes DREAM Act, faces tough opposition in Senate

by Adam Russett on December 9, 2010

The House of Representatives voted to pass the DREAM Act on Wednesday night, marking a victory for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The bill is now headed to the Senate where it will face a much tougher opposition and will require a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.

The bill hopes to provide illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they choose to attended college or join the military, The Associated Press reports. The DREAM Act, which stands for Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors, has been floating around legislative annals for 10 years, and this is the first time it is been passed by the House. However, the victory may be short-lived as it is expected to get voted down in the upper chamber.

"This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America," President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Republicans are fierce opponents of the bill and have said that they will block any attempt to push it through the Senate, so Democratic supporters will have to lure several GOP lawmakers to pass the legislation – which seems unlikely.

Republicans are opposed because they feel that the bill will encourage parents to bring their children here illegally. Additionally, others feel that it is the wrong course of action given the fact that unemployment is hovering just below 10 percent. Even Republicans such as John McCain and Orrin Hatch, who have taken middle-of-the-road stances on immigration seem to have backed away from their original position.

Still, there are Democratic supporters who feel that everyone should be given equal opportunity once they arrive in the states.

"In the name of justice, in the name of fairness, give these young people a chance to be a part of this great country," Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told the news source.

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