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by Mike Hall, Dec 18, 2010

The U.S. Senate this morning failed to break a Republican filibuster on the DREAM Act. The 55-41 vote fell five votes short of the 60 needed to break the filibuster.

In a statement last night, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the AFL-CIO “strongly supports the DREAM Act,” and that today’s vote would “clearly show where each senator stands on the aspirations and values of the immigrant community and all working people.” 

A yes vote will be a vote for justice and fairness and a no vote will be a disappointing endorsement of injustice and inequality.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would allow children of undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship under a strict set of circumstances and requirements, including that students must either serve in the military for two years or attend college for two years. Trumka called those requirements “a win-win for our security and prosperity.” 

During the debate this morning, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) told his colleagues:

If you can summon the courage to vote for the DREAM Act today, you will join ranks with senators before you, who came to the floor of these United States and made history with their courage. Who stood up and said the cause of justice is worth the political risk.

President Obama called the vote “incredibly disappointing,” and said:

A minority of senators prevented the Senate from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country…There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation.

The House passed the bill earlier this month 216-198, and it is supported by a large majority of Americans.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the DREAM Act would create $2.3 billion in revenue over the next 10 years and slash the deficit by $1.4 billion. A recent study by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center showed the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would generate about $1.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion over a 40-year period.

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