Based on the complexity of the procedural maneuvering of the House and Senate on the DREAM Act, it would appear that the legislation is dead. However, after careful analysis it is clear that it still has a chance of success. Essentially, it the Senate (S. 3992) will be voting on it later this week or early next week and the House has already passed its version (H.R. 6497/ H.R. 5281).
If the Senate passes the same legislation as the House’s version, then it next goes to President Obama for signature. The Democrats need 60 votes to win and they may have to negotiate amendments along the way. If that is the case, then it will return to the House for another vote before the President can sign it.
The DREAM Act would provide legal status to undocumented students in the US who entered the US before age 16 and who either attend college or join the military. In the vaccuum of more comprehensive immigration legislation, this stand-alone provision is a fair and necessary alternative.