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On December 18, 2010, The United States Senate once again stymied efforts to fix one of the least controversial aspects of our broken immigration system by voting down the DREAM Act by a vote of 55-41. The DREAM Act was passed by the United States House of Representatives, and would allow an earned path to legal status to 2 million children and young adults that have lived in the U.S. for virtually their entire lives.

The DREAM Act would have allowed qualified minors and young adults a chance to gain legal status in the U.S. after either serving in the U.S. military for at least 2 years, or attending 2 years of college. Children and young adults faced many additional stringent requirements to gain status under the DREAM Act the Senate voted against. Applicants had to prove they were people of good moral character, had a good criminal record, and had been in the U.S. since 2005.

The Dream Act was passed by the U.S. House Of Representatives, and was supported by the Obama Administration, the United States Department of Defense, and university, religious, and community leaders across the nation. It fell 5 votes short, but the real failure is that this Congress would sooner deport our best and brightest immigrant minors rather than allowing them to serve in our military and strengthen and diversify our education system, and the economy as a whole. The DREAM Act may not have passed, but immigrant children cannot and should not have to continue living the daily nightmare created our broken immigration system. This country cannot achieve its dreams while continuing to force children who bear no fault further into the shadows. Shame on the Senate.

Rusten Hurd

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