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DREAM Act fails to get Senate vote

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Immigration activists were disappointed today when a bill offering a path to citizenship to undocumented college grads and soldiers failed to come up for a Senate vote.

Democrats tacked the DREAM Act onto a defense spending bill. It would have granted legal status to undocumented immigrants in college or the military. The measure had the support of General Colin Powell and other military leaders recruiting for all-volunteer army.

Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin said Republicans agreed to bring the defense spending bill to the Senate floor, but with a big caveat: "No amendment related to immigration – even if it were within the jurisdiction of the Armed Services Committee – can be offered among the first 20 amendments."

Democrats rejected the GOP offer, but couldn’t muster the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster.

A measure to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was also attached to the defense spending bill. It also failed to come up for a vote. The DREAM Act and “don’t ask, don’t tell” could come before the Senate later – but probably not until after the November election.