With the amount of student activism surrounding it and the coverage it has received, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, otherwise known as the Dream Act, has perhaps been the biggest immigration story of 2010.
The bill, which would have provided conditional legal status for qualifying undocumented youths who attended college or joined the military, won House approval earlier this month but died during a Senate procedural vote Saturday morning, after falling five votes short of the necessary 60 needed for cloture.
And following its defeat, there has been no shortage of news, analysis, and discussion. Here are a few interesting items related to the bill that I've come across in the past couple of days:
- The New York Times had a good analysis of how the Obama administration's tougher immigration policies - including a record number of deportations - failed to achieve the objective of winning over Republican support for the trade-off, i.e. a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system. The Dream Act was considered "the easiest piece to pass."
- ColorLines had a feature on the student movement that helped make the Dream Act the story of the year, bringing new attention to proposed legislation that has circulated for nearly a decade. The hallmark of this activism has been undocumented students going public with their status, risking deportation in the process. "That the DREAM Act made it as far as it did in 2010 is a testament to a national, youth-led grassroots movement," the story reads.
- The Atlantic Wire posted five different takes from five different pundits on the legislation, its defeat, and its political fallout. Call it a roundup within a roundup.
- Latino Decisions pollster Matt Barreto wrote about how those who voted against the bill may have trouble with Latino voters in the next election. "As the 2012 election cycle takes shape, and the issues are defined and debated, it is unlikely that votes on the DREAM Act will be forgotten by Latino voters, 88% of whom supported the bill's passage," he wrote.
- The U.S. Senate website lists the roll call of votes from Saturday. The votes (55 in favor, 41 against) fell mostly along partisan lines, although three Republicans voted for the bill, and five Democrats voted against it.