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Breaking News on the DREAM Act

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Rush hour traffic races past an underpass where students hold a candle light vigil in support of the DREAM Act on November 29, 2010, in Carlsbad, Calif.

CREDIT: AP / Lenny Ignelzi

Updated: Saturday, December 18, 2010, 12:09 p.m.

In a vote of 55-41 the Senate this morning failed to advance the DREAM Act. The Senate voted to maintain the status quo, failing to provide a meaningful path to citizenship for thousands of undocumented young Americans who want nothing more than to contribute back to the only country they know. Here's an excerpt from a statement Campus Progress issued following the vote:

We are grateful to Senators Reid, Durbin, Levin, Leahy and others who have consistently and courageously stood with us to fight for the DREAM Act. We want them to know that we will continue to fight until the thousands of young people who want nothing more than to give back to the only country they call home have the opportunity to do so.

Updated: Friday, December 17, 2010, 3:24 p.m.

Check out this video we just received of DREAMers up on Capitol Hill in a "study-in" over lunch at the Dirksen Senate Cafeteria. We hope this inpsires you as much as it does us and that you'll call 1-866-996-1561 and urge your senator to vote 'yes' on the DREAM Act in tomorrow's Senate vote.

Updated: Friday, December 17, 2010, 10:00 a.m.

Senate Majority Reid has scheduled the first major procedural vote on the DREAM Act for Saturday morning. The House of Representatives passed the the DREAM Act on December 8th by a vote of 216-192, and now the Senate must decide tomorrow whether to proceed to its own vote on that bill. This is make-it-or-break-it—the procedural vote tomorrow morning will determine whether the Senate votes to pass the DREAM Act this year.

Although Senator Reid has gone to great lengths to ensure that the bill has the best chance to pass tomorrow, senators' offices still need to hear from you. Pick up the phone and urge your senator to vote 'yes' on common-sense reform for undocumented young people. You can reach your senate office through a central switchboard by calling 1-866-996-5161.

P.S. For streaming updates on the DREAM Act from Campus Progress, click here and 'like us' on Facebook. Then, make a call on our DREAM Act action center and sign up to receive more information.

Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 10:00 a.m.

Supporters of the DREAM Act have continued to raise awareness as the Senate prepares to vote as early as next week on the House-passed version of the bill. The bill provides a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who complete higher education or serve in our nation's military.

DREAMers on Capitol Hill yesterday again demonstrated their readiness to serve in our nation's military. In a video from United We DREAM, military DREAMers marched around the Captiol yesterday chanting, “We’re feeling motivated, dedicated, downright educated! You can check us out, you can check us out! What!” Check it out:

Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010, 5:00 p.m.

Campus Progress and others sent a letter today to the Senate urging swift passage of the DREAM Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act last Wednesday in a vote of 216-198 and a vote on the bill could be in the Senate by early next week. Read an excerpt from the letter below, or the entire letter here.

The DREAM Act is supported by a diverse majority of Americans, leaders in the education and civil rights communities, and prominent military leaders including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General Colin Powell. It is fiscally responsible—as the CBO recently pointed out, DREAM would actually reduce deficits by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years—and would strengthen our armed forces by expanding the pool of applicants willing to serve and improving troop readiness. Perhaps most importantly, the DREAM Act represents a great return on the investment our country has already made in young people who have completed elementary school and high school, worked hard and are ready to contribute to society as adults.

Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010, 1:43 p.m.

A report released today by our parent organization, The Center for American Progress, that details just how much American stands to lose if we fail to pass the DREAM Act:

We can roughly estimate, then, that passing the DREAM Act could add as many as 252,000 new scientists, engineers, and technical workers to this country’s critically thin supply. Conversely, failing to pass the bill would rob this country of a critical mass of brain power and technological innovation. An undocumented scientist or engineer has little to no hope of finding a job in their field of expertise—a travesty given their extraordinary sacrifice and intellectual potential.

Passing the DREAM Act is a critical component to the nation’s economic prosperity and national security. It will reward students who have earned their way into college and worked hard to attain degrees in some of the most challenging fields.

Call your Senator at 1-866-996-5161 and tell him or her to vote yes on the DREAM Act for our economy. Tell your senator that the DREAM Act benefits America's economy by reducing deficits by $2.2 billion over 10 years and adding much needed skill to our workforce.

Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010, 3:46 p.m.

We should be proud of what we accomplished this week in helping pass the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives. Watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi deliver a passionate speach from the House floor after the victory:

With the House victory behind us, we still need your help convincing several senators that passing a meaningful path to citizenship for undocumented young people is the right thing to do. Pick up the phone and call 1-866-996-5161 and ask to speak to the office of one of the senators below:

Watch our twitter feed for streaming updates on vote schedules and check out our Facebook DREAM Act Action Center to find out how to help move the DREAM Act forward in the Senate.

Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 12:42 p.m.

The Senate has tabled the vote on the motion to proceed on its version of the DREAM Act. Basically, the Senate has delayed a vote until next week when it will vote on the version of the bill passed in the House last night.

This is great news. It means we have more time to get the votes we need to make the DREAM Act a reality. In the past week undocumented young people and their allies have generated nearly 150,000 calls to members of Congress. If we're going to pass the DREAM Act before the end of the lame duck session we can't give up now. Make the call: 1-866-996-5161. Don't know your Senator's name? Click here to find out.

Also, watch our twitter feed for streaming updates and check out our Facebook DREAM Act Action Center for more on what you can do to help enact a meaningful path to earned citizenship for undocumented young Americans.

Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 11:49 a.m.

In order to garner more support for the recently passed House version of the DREAM Act, the Senate has tabled a vote on its version of the DREAM Act that was previous scheduled for today at 11:00 a.m.

Sources say a vote in the Senate should be expected sometime next week.

Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 9:52 a.m.

Debate on the DREAM Act will begin shortly in the U.S. Senate. A vote on the motion to invoke cloture—to end debate on the DREAM Act—is scheduled for 11 a.m. We'll let you know the results and next steps for the DREAM Act as that vote occurs. Watch our twitter account for breaking updates as they happen.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 8:59 p.m.

The DREAM Act passes in the U.S. House of Representatives. Next up tomorrow: the U.S. Senate. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 6:32 p.m.

It looks like the House will still be voting tonight while the Senate plans to vote tomorrow. Check Campus Progress' twitter feed for information on the DREAM Act's movement through the House of Representatives.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 4:25 p.m.

Because of wide spread support for the DREAm Act, Representative Hoyer has agreed to take the lead and hold a vote in the House first around 6:30 p.m. today. The Senate is expected to hold a vote this evening. A winning vote in the House is crucial to a positive vote in the Senate, so keep calling your member of Congress at 1 (866) 587-3023.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 4:15 p.m.

The House of Representatives will be voting at 6:30 p.m. while the Senate should be voting closer to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Tune in to CSPAN to watch as Congress begins to debate the DREAM Act.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 1:45 p.m.

We just received news that the vote in the House of Representatives should be around 3 p.m. The Senate vote is expected around 7 p.m. CSPAN should have continuing coverage of the DREAM Act votes as they happen.

Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 12:25 p.m.

The vote is happening this afternoon. If you're like us, you'll be following the action from the floor today on CSPAN. Before the voting starts, take a look at this handy list of common myths and facts about the DREAM Act you may be hearing today.

Updated: Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 5:15 p.m.

In light of the CBO report released last week that revealed the DREAM Act would increase revenues by $2.4 billion, DREAMers and other youth organizations, including Campus Progress, made out several $2.4 billion dollar checks and delivered them to members of Congress still on the fence about the Act. Among those delivering checks was a hunger strike activist from Texas, and the Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Brent Wilkes.

The vote that could potentially change the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have putting their careers on hold is expected to come up as soon as tomorrow. Your representative needs to hear from you if we’re going to make DREAMs come true this week for hardworking young people who are ready to serve their country.

Keep checking Campus Progress for more information on developments as they happen. For now, pick up a phone and call a senator who is still on the fence about the DREAM Act: 1-866-996-5161.

Updated: Monday, December 6, 2010, 5:00 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just filed for cloture on the DREAM Act. The moment we’ve all been waiting for will soon be upon us—our members of Congress will either pass the DREAM Act and give hundreds of undocumented young people the opportunity to serve the only country they’ve known, or they will continue to make excuses for a bill that is good for our economy, our military, and our security. Now more than ever we need to show our Congress that this bill needs to pass. Call your representative now: 1-866-996-5161.

Updated: Friday, December 3, 2010, 5:00 p.m.

Champions of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives and the Senate have indicated that both chambers are poised to vote on the DREAM Act next week. According to The Hill magazine, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Friday predicted a Senate vote on the DREAM Act saying, "Sen. Reid is going to call it."

Similarly Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) commented that the House of Representatives is “still on track to pass the DREAM Act." There were several reports that the House would be ready to vote on the DREAM Act on Friday, December 2. However, while waiting for the CBO score—which painted the DREAM Act in a very positive light—the House rules committee ran out of time to meet.

Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 8:30 p.m.

The Congressional Budget Office found that the DREAM Act would increase revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years, from 2010 to 2020.

Republican opponents of the bill have implied in recent days that the DREAM Act would have a negative impact on the economy. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter in which he urged Senators to block the DREAM Act, warning his senators that the fiscal impact of the bill had yet to be determined.

Now there's really no excuse. The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed what we already knew: the DREAM Act strengthens both our security and our economy.

Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 6:18 p.m.

Earlier this afternoon we heard the House was ready to move on the DREAM Act. New developments however show that both the House and the Senate votes are being postponed until next week.

The White House has issued another call of support for the legislation, and Congress still needs pressure to ensure the bill is heard next week. “I know that Congress is going to be considering the DREAM Act soon and I wanted to reemphasize my support for it,” said Janet Napolitano in a press conference today, “the DREAM Act is one thing that Congress can do right now to help the Department of Homeland Security do its job of enforcing immigration laws in the way that makes the most sense for public safety for our national security.”

Watch Campus Progress for more information on how you can help ensure the DREAM Act is heard by Congress next week.

Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 3:00 p.m.

The House of Representatives is ready to vote on the DREAM Act. There are a few more offices that need to hear from you. Call 1-866-587-3023 and ask to speak to the office of member from the list below. Give the following message to the member's office:

Invest in America's military, economic and academic future. Vote yes on the DREAM Act.

Regardless of what state you live in, it is especially important that these members of the House hear from you before tomorrow's vote:

Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that would help undocumented young people achieve their dream of American citizenship. The bill enjoys support from leaders in the military, education, immigration, and religious communities.

Right now, the bill is coming to a crossroad in the United States Congress.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a new version of the DREAM Act (S. 3992) late Tuesday night.

The new legislation creates a conditional nonimmigrant status that lasts ten years, which can then by followed by legal permanent residency. The transition between both of these statuses is contingent on the individual’s ability to meet the college or military requirement, write and speak English, and pay taxes.

While this certainly prolongs the process of obtaining citizenship, beneficiaries would still be authorized for employment during this period. They would also be able to travel outside of the country for limited periods of time and would be admitted back into the U.S. without a visa.

The bill would continue to block access to Pell grants and other federal loans. It also lowers the original age cap of 34 to 29 years of age, maintaining the individuals entered the country as children (15 or under) and are long-term residents (having lived in the US for at least 5 years).

Beneficiaries would not be able to sponsor their parents or siblings for citizenship for at least 12 years. The bill also creates more limits to eligibility and would exclude those who have committed either one felony or three misdemeanors, have abused a student visa, or have engaged in voting or marriage fraud among other things.

At this point, cloture to move on this DREAM bill or any other version has not been filed.

Angela is the policy and advocacy manager for Campus Progress. She graduated from Western Michigan University.

Eduardo Garcia is advocacy manager at Campus Progress. Follow him @itseddie.

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