President Obama on Saturday lamented the death of the DREAM Act in the Senate after backers failed to advance the measure, which would create a path to legal residency for undocumented immigrants who came here at a young age.
“In an incredibly disappointing vote today, a minority of Senators prevented the Senate from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country. As I said last week, when the House passed the DREAM Act, it is not only the right thing to do for talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own, it is the right thing for the United States of America,” Obama said in a statement. “Our nation is enriched by their talents and would benefit from the success of their efforts.”
The DREAM Act, which would give legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age, have lived here for at least five years, have graduated from high school and attended college or served in the military, fell five votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP-led filibuster — 55 to 41.
"The DREAM Act is important to our economic competitiveness, military readiness, and law enforcement efforts. And as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported, the DREAM Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation,” Obama said.
He vowed to continue pushing the measure.
“It is disappointing that common sense did not prevail today. But my administration will not give up on the DREAM Act, or on the important business of fixing our broken immigration system. The American people deserve a serious debate on immigration, and it’s time to take the polarizing rhetoric off our national stage,” Obama said.