This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

DREAM dies in the Senate

As predicted, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) did not garner enough votes in the Senate today to be brought to the floor for a vote. It did get 55 votes--a majority of Senator did vote to bring it to vote--but the Senate procedure called "cloture" (or end to debate--a move to avoid a filibuster) requires 60 votes, so the motion failed. This bill has been rattling around Congress for nearly a decade and despite its good intentions to provide a path to citizenship for children brought to the US as undocumented immigrants by their parents, it seems unlikely that it will get majority support in the new Congress coming into office in January, despite a pledge by President Obama to push for it.
President Barack Obama and Democratic supporters vowed to push again for the measure in the new Congress that will be seated in January.
"It is disappointing that common sense did not prevail today," Obama said in a statement. "But my administration will not give up on the DREAM Act, or on the important business of fixing our brokenimmigration system." 
One of the issues raised by the opposition is that the eventual granting of citizenship to these individuals will have the multiplier effect of bringing in their close relatives through the family preference system. The problem with this argument is that you are really opposed to the family preference system, then that system (which certainly can be changed) should be changed, rather than using it as grounds for denying a path to citizenship for genuine victims of circumstances.

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