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DREAM Act passed by House, but Senate may be tougher

Undocumented immigrants and their advocates have been waiting since President Barack Obama’s inauguration to see a new immigration law passed on behalf of the estimated 10 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. If passed by the Senate, the DREAM Act might be a dream come true for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children and have lived illegally in the US for at least the last five years.

A student joins a candle-light procession and vigil in support of the DREAM Act in downtown Los Angeles, Tuesday. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which Senate will vote on Thursday, would allow the legalization of people who illegally entered the United States before they turned 16, among other requirements.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act has been making the rounds since 2003, but has yet to make it through Congress. The last time the Senate voted on the DREAM Act was last September when it failed to get the 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster that Republicans were threatening. The vote was 52-44.

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