Senate Democrats have temporarily pulled the DREAM Act from consideration because they do not have enough votes to pass the measure.
On Dec. 9, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called to table the legislation and perhaps vote on it next week, which jeopardizes the bill's chances of passing during the current lame-duck session. The DREAM Act, if passed, would offer new paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants who entered the United States before age 16.
Supporters of the bill, which include President Barack Obama and most liberal lawmakers, believe that it would offer legal status for young people who have served the country. Most Republicans claim that the DREAM Act is a form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
On Dec. 8, the House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 216 to 196. It is unlikely Senate Democrats will get the Republican votes needed to pass the legislation.
The American Legion, a veterans' organization, has urged Senators to stop the DREAM Act from passing.
"Some people mistakenly believe that the DREAM Act would encourage military service and the pursuit of college education," said Jimmie Foster, the national commander of the American Legion. "Instead, it rewards illegal behavior. It says to those who are trying to legally enter our country, disregard the law and you will ultimately be rewarded."