September 21st, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Student's 'DREAM,' last hope rests on Senate vote

Yahaira Carrillo and other students take part in news conference promoting the Dream Act.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would be introducing the DREAM Act and a “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal as amendments to the defense authorization bill it sent shockwaves through political and immigration circles. Before those two additions can be voted on, the Senate must agree to close debate on the larger defense bill - something that may not happen.

GOP senators, in addition to frustrations with the possible “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, also dislike Reid's plan to add the DREAM act, an immigration-related provision to the defense bill.

The DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children. Under the bill, an individual would have to be of “good moral character” and either receive a college degree or complete at least two years of U.S. military service. Yahaira Carrillo is a college student who, while in high school, participated in Jr. ROTC, while dreaming of becoming a United States Marine.

“I wanted to be in uniform,” she told CNN, but she quit ROTC when a Captain-classmate warned that her undocumented status would bar her from joining the Marines.

The 25-year-old college senior is currently in deportation proceedings, but if the Dream Act became law she could earn U.S. citizenship.

“This is where I want to be.” Carrillo told CNN’s Dick Uliano. “I want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Listen to Carillo's story here:

Or you can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports' podcast on iTunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Immigration • Politics
soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. Benjamin

    I guess people are happy because the bill was just defeated...A sad day indeed

    September 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • nhsays

      very very very very happy

      September 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Asian

    DREAM ACT FAILS 56-43

    The Senate, by a vote of 56-43 did not pass the motion to proceed to debate on the defense authorization bill (S.3454). The procedural vote seeked to move the bill forward and begin the general debate; however 60 votes were needed to pass the motion.

    The source of the conflict were two provisions in the bill; repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and an immigration measure, the DREAM Act. Republicans have voiced their opposition to the measures, as well as Democratic leaders’ refusal to allow the other side to bring forth their amendments for consideration.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • nhsays

      Good decision. As usual a bill with mixed garbage attached to it. Every bill presented by this useless Democratic group of losers should be closely looked at and whenever these additional pieces are added, defeated!

      September 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Seal wife,

    That's too bad about the guy who came here against his will as a child, due to his mother's choice to come here illegally, BUT

    We are NOT talking about one person here, but MANY! Because of these illegals, OUR hard-earned taxes have been supporting them. NOT fair to the people who do the right thing and to those families who ALSO struggled but still found and fought a way to come here LEGALLY!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Asian

    DREAM ACT fails....great news.

    the LEGALS wait 15 years for their Green card and ILLEGALS get theirs sooner/easier and quicker. Slap on the face of Durbin and Reid.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • idb

      You are totally right. First of all it should not be in a defense bill, secondly no amnesty for illegal aliens. Abide the law!

      September 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Char

    Thank god some have sense in washington WTG Illegal children have nobody but their parents to blame.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SEAL wife

    And Juan, you're a fool! My husband served 20 years in the military, 18 of those as a Navy SEAL, to defend your right to spew that nonsense! He is not crazy, or incapacitated in any way. He is currently working for our government and if your piddly contribution to his meager salary when he was enlisted is such a problem for you, why don't your leave this country?!?!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • idb

      I have to agree with your assessment there, you seem to be right on target concerning Juan.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BryanWolf

      We are all fools because they should have never been allowed to serve in the first place. But when the law was made we were in need od all we could get. Good point time to change the law. Sorry

      September 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. katatinka

    When I was first in Los Angeles five years ago, I was all for the illegals. I reckoned we could all learn to get along with each other. That was before I realized they do not want to get along with me. They want me out. I am on the receiving end of the dirty looks and the insults because of the color of my skin. I happen to be mestizo, but these people judge me on the color of my skin without knowing the first thing about me. I cannot even get a cleaning job here. I could write a book about how I changed from a Democrat and a socialist into the person I am today, a person older and wiser. GET THEM OUT, or you will find yourselves living in the United States of Los Angeles.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nancy

    How can Americans not feel anger towards this bill. My husband and I have worked two jobs each for the last 10 years so my children can get a good education. My kids also have student loans that will take them a long time to pay off. I'm suppose to be happy for some illegals that will get ALL THIS for nothing. I don't think so!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • nhsays

      Very well said! Thank you..

      September 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jjjj

    Soldier-

    you stole your appointment to West Point then?

    September 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike O

    My wife is a legal immigrant; my son is as comfortable in either country (but naturally prefers the U.S.) and- if the law required him to live in his mother's country- he simply would. All of this talk of breaking up families is ridiculous; the family can stay together where they LEGALLY can reside. Simple.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      PARROT and Support4DreamAct – you are missing the point. We true Americans are NOT denying anyone an education or a life style – What we are saying is we DON'T

      September 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dean

    No amnesty NOT now not ever. Nov 2 we ensure its not passed. Rewarding law breakers...what a farce. Dirty Durbin is at it again. Go cry on someone elses dime. These illegal aliens took slots away from true americans. Blame them AND their parents. Deport them all and have them apply for citizenship. Get in line.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pupper

    They should pass the bill! That be great! Let us all pray! United States of America! Hence the word United!
    Poor people who come on this board to talk crap, I pray for you guys so one day you can have a nice and humble heart!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PARROT

    THE RACIST REPUBLICAN DON'T UNDERSTAND THOSE KIDS ARE MORE AMERICANS THAN ANY REDNECK!!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Support4DreamAct

    Children should NOT be accountable for the actions of their parents. Let them live and be productive citizens. They should be able to drive, go to college and vote.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Yes they should be. In their own country that is.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      They already CAN. In their own country. Nowhere does it say that having U.S. citizenship is a right that belongs to every human on the planet. It is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SEAL wife

    Char, I beg to differ. I worked in an industry where time and again many, many, many legals said they would not work minimum wage because they didn't feel it was worth it. 7-11 doesn't pay it's employees minimumwage because some illegal is working the fields at $2 p/hour. And by the way, Russia is not that great for someone who has lived there all their life, let alone someone who has to go back and has no life there. Trust me from someone who has been there.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • BryanWolf

      Fact check. Don't forget the ones that work for $5.00 in the construction trades to include janitorial svs and landscaping. I almost lost my company because I had to pay my employees more and pay taxes on them. I could not bid as low as the Illegals. In addition when the law was made allowing non-citizens to serve we needed every one we could get. Many were not expected to survive. To be fair the law should be changed to stop this practice.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
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