Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced his intention to include the DREAM Act in the major defense bill scheduled for floor action this week. The DREAM Act will allow persons who were brought into the U.S. as children to legalize their status so long as they study in college or enroll in the armed forces.
The version of the Defense Authorization bill that passed the House of Representatives in late May did not include the DREAM Act provision. If the Senate passes their version of the defense bill with the DREAM Act intact, it will still need to survive the conference committee reconciliation and then come back before each chamber for a final vote.
The DREAM Act would not be the only controversial amendment debated during action on the defense bill. A repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which would allow gay and lesbian service members to openly serve in the military, will be included in the massive bill. The repeal has already passed the House in their version of the bill. The last time the Senate voted on the DREAM Act was in 2007, as a stand-alone measure, when it came 8 votes short of overcoming a filibuster.
Part of this information was obtained through the American Immigration Lawyers Association.