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Public Statements - Senators Vote Against Bill on Immigration

News Article

Location: Washington, DC - Senators Vote Against Bill on Immigration

By Doug Abrahms

South Carolina's senators voted with a majority of Republicans to block a bill Wednesday that would have given some children of illegal immigrants legal U.S. status.

The bill would offer conditional legal status to those who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years if they attend college or join the military for at least two years. Those children also must have arrived before age 16 and not committed a felony.

"The solution is not rewarding lawbreaking and create incentives for more illegal immigration in the future," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. "America has asked us to secure our borders and create a worker ID system and an immigration system that works."

The vote was 52-44, but 60 votes were needed to move forward. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also voted against it. Only 12 Republicans voted for it.

Some Democrats called the legislation, dubbed the Dream Act, a small step forward in the larger overall immigration debate and said it would help some children of illegal immigrants obtain legal status in the U.S. Many of these children have few memories of their home countries, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who sponsored the bill

"What crime did these children commit? They committed the crime of obeying their parents, following their parents to this country," he said. "Give them a chance. Give them hope."

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