Washington D.C., Dec 22, 2010 / 17:50 pm
Although the controversial immigration DREAM Act failed to pass through the Senate last week, the support that the bill garnered in the House was enough to make Archbishop Jose Gomez, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration, “confident” that the legislation will succeed in the near future.
Despite the U.S. bishops endorsing the the DREAM Act – a bill that would grant citizenship to many children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents – the measure was defeated in the U.S. Senate on Dec. 18 after supporters failed to muster enough votes to block a filibuster.
Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster, but proponents could only gather 55, with 41 senators voting to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote before the full Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives, however, had earlier passed the bill on a 216-198 vote.
The act's full title is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It would have allowed young people who entered the United States before the age of 16 to apply for legal permanent residence and eventual citizenship, as long as they finish high school, have no criminal record, have lived in the U.S. for more than five years and complete two years of college or military service.