In 2010, the widely supported federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act failed in the Senate. The DREAM Act was designed to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors and who had been educated in the U.S. or had served in the military.
The first version of the act was introduced in 2000 in the context of a growing grassroots movement of undocumented young people. Though the DREAM Act showed strong bipartisan support at the start of President Obama’s term, in 2010, Republicans widely denounced the bill for providing “amnesty” without addressing immigration enforcement. After passing in the House of Representatives, Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster, but achieved only 55. Activists continue to work for a federal DREAM Act.