How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

DREAM Act: Movement in the House

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A sign at a DREAM Act rally in Los Angeles last summer

Update: A pending House vote on the DREAM Act has been put off awaiting the results of a budget report. Frank Sharry of America's Voice, which is monitoring the bill, said this afternoon that a floor vote is now expected mid-week.

Meanwhile, Senate leadership has held off on filing cloture tonight as tentatively planned. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said that House and Senate leadership are working together to set a vote agenda, and that a vote is expected next week.

While the Senate has yet to move on the DREAM Act, a proposed federal measure that would grant conditional legal status to undocumented youths who attend college or join the military, the House of Representatives could be voting on it as early as tomorrow.

Frank Sharry, executive director of the Washington, D.C. immigration advocacy group America's Voice, which is closely following the bill, confirmed that House leadership is moving toward a possible Friday vote.

"There is about a 75 percent chance it is going to happen tomorrow," Sharry said. A House Rules Committee meeting on the measure is expected to take place this afternoon, he said.

The version of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that the House would be voting on is the same introduced earlier this week by Senate leadership, Sharry said. Among the things the streamlined, more restrictive measure does is lower the cutoff age for eligibility and extend the period of conditional legal status. Applicants must now be under 30, as opposed to under 35, and the conditional residency period was extended from six years to 10.

A Senate vote is expected soon also. Jose Parra, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, said there are tentative plans to file cloture tonight, setting up a vote for early next week.

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