Defeat of the DREAM Act - A Time for Modified Rapture

By David North on December 19, 2010

While I am very pleased that the Dream Act failed to pass the Senate (though it sailed through the House of Representatives) I think it is a time for only modified rapture.

Yes, the most attractive amnesty proposal of them all – despite the support of the President, the leaders of the Senate, and all the open borders forces – did not get through the upper body. Had it done so, it would have been quickly signed by the President.

While this is good news, it is only negative good news. It does not indicate that the legislative desires of the restrictionists will have good prospects in the two years ahead.

What really defeated the Dream Act was not the lack of support for the idea, nor the actions of its opponents. No, it was the continuing power of a Senate rule, the one that says you have to have 60 votes to get anything done. (I cannot think of another democracy with such a requirement.)

The Dream Act proponents, after all, secured 55 votes on Saturday. Our side had only 41 votes, and there were four others who did not vote at all.

So we will need 19 more votes than we had on Saturday, in a still-Democratic Senate, to actually pass legislation, as opposed to blocking it. The new Senate will be a bit more favorable to our views, but not that much.

It will be a tough, uphill battle to secure change. I suspect that only the most attractive parts of our program – more border enforcement, perhaps the repeal of the diversity visas – will have much of a chance.

But we have achieved something significant; now the other side will be on the defensive.

Topics: DREAM Act