[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 153 (2007), Part 20]
[Pages 28095-28101]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

                               TO PROCEED

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 20 minutes of debate equally 
divided before a cloture vote on a motion to proceed to S. 2205.
  The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I am going to use my leader time so it does 
not interfere with the 20 minutes allocated.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, earlier this year, we had a chance at 
comprehensive immigration reform. I agree with the President of the 
United States that we should do comprehensive immigration reform. 
President Bush and I, I repeat, were in agreement. That effort brought 
people together from both sides of the aisle, from all parts of the 
political spectrum. We agreed our current immigration system works well 
for no one. That effort brought Democrats and Republicans together in 
pursuit of a common good.
  Many of us then were profoundly disappointed when this issue was 
stopped, not because of the President, but by Republicans in the Senate 
and a few Democrats. It was a real disappointment to me. We had spent 
so much time on the floor trying to move forward on comprehensive 
immigration reform.
  I continue to believe that tough, fair, practical and comprehensive 
reform is the only way to get control of our broken immigration system 
and restore the rule of law. I remain committed to enacting 
comprehensive legislation as soon as we can. But until we can once 
again look forward to comprehensive immigration reform, we should, at 
the very least, enact the DREAM Act. We tried to offer this crucial 
legislation as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill, but we 
were blocked from doing so by a small number of Republicans.
  At that time, I committed to moving the DREAM Act for a vote before 
November 16. Today, that is where we are. We now turn to the DREAM Act 
as stand-alone legislation, and I once again rise to offer my strong 
support for this legislation. Anyone who believes as I do that 
education unlocks doors to limitless opportunity should join me in 
voting for this legislation.
  We should vote for this legislation because the DREAM Act recognizes 
that children should not be penalized for the actions of their parents. 
Many of the children this bill addresses came here when they were very 
young. Many don't even remember their home countries--in fact, most of 
them don't--or speak the language of their home countries. They are as 
loyal and devoted to our country as any American. Only children who 
came to the United States when they were 15 years old or younger and 
have been in the United States for at least 5 years and are now not yet 
30 years old can apply. Those who are eligible must earn a high school 
diploma, demonstrate good moral character, and pass criminal and 
security clearances. They must also either go to college or serve in 
the military for 2 years.
  I have met many star students in Nevada who qualify for the DREAM 
Act. With it, their futures are limitless. Without it, their hope is 
diminished greatly. What a waste it is to make it more difficult for 
children--children in our country--to go to college and get jobs or 
join the military when they can be making meaningful contributions to 
their communities and to our country. What good does it do anybody to 
prevent these young people from having a future? The answer is it does 
no good. It harms children who have done no wrong, and in the long run 
it greatly harms our country's economy.
  I very much appreciate the hard work of Senator Durbin and Senator 
Hatch to bring this legislation to the floor. They have worked 
tirelessly to ensure this important bipartisan bill does not go away. 
We must now invoke

[[Page 28096]]

cloture and pass this bill. Vote cloture and move to this legislation. 
If we do, we will put the American dream within the reach of far more 
children in Nevada and across America who want nothing more than a fair 
chance at success. That will be an accomplishment of which we can all 
be proud.
  A lot of what we do is based on personal experiences. My memory goes 
back many years to a small rural community in Nevada called Smith 
Valley. It is one of the few farming areas we have left in the State of 
Nevada. It is a beautiful place. I spoke to an assembly at a small 
school, and I could tell this young lady wanted to speak to me when I 
finished. She was embarrassed, of course. But I asked her if she wanted 
to talk to me, and she was embarrassed--clearly embarrassed. She said 
words to this effect: I am the smartest kid in my class. I am 
graduating from high school soon. I can't go to college. My parents are 
  I have thought about that so much. I don't know where she is today. 
Is she doing domestic work someplace? What is she doing? She should 
have been able to go to college. Not a free education--that isn't what 
this bill calls for--but an opportunity to go to college.
  In Reno and in Las Vegas we have scores of gangs--many of them 
Hispanic gangs--doing illegal things much of the time. Not all the time 
but much of the time. There is no question--I have been told by police 
officers, by high school counselors--that this legislation would give 
children an alternative, an alternative to going into the gangs.
  So I appreciate this legislation. It is all-American legislation, 
which is so important for what we want to accomplish in this country. I 
would hope my fellow Senators will allow this legislation to move 
forward by voting yea on the motion to proceed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, every once in a while we disagree with the 
majority leader. In this case, I do. When he says the immigration bill 
brought us together, it didn't bring us together. Let us remember what 
happened, though. The immigration bill: We came in on a Monday and 
expected to vote on a bill that no one had seen until Saturday 
afternoon. Now, this is another sudden thing upon us, and let us keep 
in mind this is an amnesty bill. We are talking about people who came 
to this country illegally, regardless of age.
  This says: If you have lived in the United States for more than 5 
consecutive years, even though you came in illegally, and if you 
entered this country at age 16 or before--and you could have been here 
for as long as 14 years illegally, because they have the cutoff at age 
30--then you will be getting a conditional, lawful permanent 
residence--a green card--for up to 6 years.
  What can you do during that 6-year period? During that 6-year period 
you can actually bring in other members, parents and others, who were 
brought here illegally in the first place, so they can enjoy that same 
type of citizenship.
  Now, I know I am prejudiced on this issue because I have had the 
honor of speaking at naturalization ceremonies. When you look at the 
people who have done it right, done it legally--they have learned the 
language and the history--this or any other type of an amnesty bill 
would be a slap in the face to all those who came here legally.
  So I would ask the question: When do we learn? We went through this 
thing before. I know we try to fast-track these things so people will 
not catch on, but I can assure you, all of America is awake on this one 
and they know exactly what we are doing. This is another amnesty bill, 
and I believe we should not proceed to it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time? The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I wish to commend Senator Durbin and 
Senators Hatch, Lugar, Hagel, and Menendez for their commitment to this 
bill. This legislation would allow young people who have grown up in 
the United States a chance at stability, and a chance to achieve the 
American dream by attending college or serving in our military.
  I do not believe it is the American way to punish young people for 
the mistakes of their parents. When these young people have the 
opportunity to reach their potential by service in our Armed Forces or 
through higher education, we all win. Opening the door to opportunity, 
not squandering the potential of young people, is part of what America 
is all about.
  So let us take a first step toward sensible immigration policy and 
move beyond the rhetoric and give these people a chance of fulfilling 
the American dream.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
an editorial appearing in today's New York Times.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the New York Times, Oct. 24, 2007]

                           A Chance To Dream

       The Senate has a chance today to pluck a small gem from the 
     ashes of the immigration debate. A critical procedural vote 
     is scheduled on the Dream Act, a bill to open opportunities 
     for college and military service to the children of 
     undocumented immigrants.
       Roughly 65,000 children graduate each year from high school 
     into a constrained future because they cannot work legally or 
     qualify for most college aid. These are the overlooked 
     bystanders to the ferocious bickering over immigration. They 
     did not ask to be brought here, have worked hard in school 
     and could, given the chance, hone their talents and become 
     members of the homegrown, high-skilled American work force.
       The bill is one of the least controversial immigration 
     proposals that have been offered in the last five years. But 
     that doesn't mean much. Like everything else not directly 
     involving border barricades and punishment, it has been 
     branded as ``amnesty,'' and has languished.
       But this bill is different, starting with its broad, 
     bipartisan support, from its original sponsor, the Utah 
     Republican Orrin Hatch, to its current champion, Richard 
     Durbin, Democrat of Illinois. Repeated defeats have forced 
     Mr. Durbin to pare away at the bill's ambitions. It focuses 
     now on a narrow sliver of a worthy group: children who 
     entered the country before age 16, lived here continuously 
     for at least five years and can show good moral character and 
     a high school diploma. They would receive conditional legal 
     status for 6 years, during which they could work, go to 
     college and serve in the military. If they completed at least 
     2 years of college or military service, they would be 
     eligible for legalization.
       These young people--their numbers are estimated at anywhere 
     from a million to fewer than 100,000--are in many ways fully 
     American, but their immigration status puts a lock on their 
     potential right after high school. They face the prospect of 
     living in the shadows as their parents do, fearing 
     deportation to countries they do not know, yearning to 
     educate themselves in a country that ignores their 
       The Dream Act rejects that unacceptable waste of young 
     talent. The opportunity is there, provided the votes are 
     there in the Senate.
  Mr. LEAHY. I yield the floor, and I yield the remainder of my time to 
Senator Durbin.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, many speeches are made on the floor, many 
amendments are offered, many bills, and many resolutions. Very few of 
them cause a ripple. A handful of people may follow them closely, a 
handful of people may care. The DREAM Act is a different thing. The 
DREAM Act is a bill which I thought about and introduced years ago, and 
it has finally reached this moment of truth where it comes to the floor 
of the Senate. The reason why this bill will be noticed is that 
literally thousands of young people across America know that their fate 
and future will be determined by this vote.
  Yesterday, I had a press conference with three of these young people. 
A Congressman from the State of Colorado sent out a press release 
arguing that these three young people should be arrested in the 
Capitol. Of course, he didn't take the time to determine that they are 
all here now with the understanding of and disclosure to the Department 
of Homeland Security. But his press release is an indication of how 
badly this debate is going in America. To turn on these children and 

[[Page 28097]]

them as criminals is an indication of the level of emotion and, in some 
cases, bigotry and hatred that is involved in this debate.
  America is better than that. America is a better nation than what we 
hear from the likes of that Congressman. What crime did these children 
commit? They committed the crime of obeying their parents; following 
their parents to this country. Do you think there was a vote in the 
household about their future? I don't think so. Mom and dad said: We 
are leaving. And the kids packed their suitcases and followed. That is 
their crime. That is the only crime you can point to. What did they do 
after they got here? To qualify under the DREAM Act, they had to make 
certain they didn't commit a crime while living in America; they had to 
have good moral character and beat the odds and graduate from high 
school. That is the only way they can qualify for this.
  Then what do we say? Not enough. If you want to be legal in America, 
you have to do one of two things: Volunteer to serve in our military, 
to risk your life for America, and then we will give you a chance to be 
citizens. But even that is not good enough for some. Some argue, no, we 
don't want them in our military. We don't need them. Well, the people 
involved in our military know better. They know these are the kind of 
bright, promising young people who can serve our country with 
distinction and they tell us that.
  What else could they do? They can pursue their education to show they 
are serious about making something out of their lives. These are the 
only two ways they get a chance. That is what the DREAM Act is all 
  I could go for an hour or more with stories of these young people 
whom I have met. They are hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time. 
They are hopeful stories because these are young people who have the 
same dreams my children have, the same dreams every American child has: 
to have a good life, a good family, and do something important in their 
lives. That is all they want.
  The young woman from India I met in Chicago wants to be a dentist. 
The young man from Mexico, who is now pursuing his graduate degree in 
biomedical science, wants to go into research. A young girl from Texas 
is a graduate of nursing school but can't find a job because she is a 
person without a country. Tomorrow's teachers and engineers and 
scientists. All they are asking for is a chance. That is the hopeful 
side of it.
  The heartbreaking side of it is these are kids without a country. 
They have nowhere to turn. Tam Tran, who is with us today and who 
joined me yesterday, has been through an arduous journey, starting in 
Vietnam, going to Germany, then coming to the United States. Her family 
can't return to Vietnam and face persecution, and Germany would not 
have her. She doesn't even speak German. Yet our government tells her: 
Leave. She graduated from UCLA. She wants to pursue a degree and be a 
  Leave. We don't want you. Is that the message? If it is, it is the 
wrong message. Because time and again we are told we need talent in 
America to be a successful and prosperous nation. We are told we need 
to bring in talent from overseas with our H-1B visas and the H-2B 
visas. Well, how can we, on one side of the argument, say we need more 
talent and then turn these children away, turn these young people away? 
Give them a chance. Give them hope. Give them a chance to prove 
themselves in this country.
  This bill puts them through a long process. It will not be easy. Some 
will not make it. Most will not make it. But those who do will make 
this a better Nation. Isn't that what we should be about?
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana is recognized.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I would like to be recognized for 2 
minutes, and if you can announce when that time has expired.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will be notified.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I think there are millions of Americans 
all around the country who wish no ill will on these minors whom we are 
talking about but are sitting at home following this debate, following 
this procedure, and scratching their heads and saying: Haven't these 
Members of Congress heard us? Don't they get it? Don't they understand 
what we have been saying loudly and clearly? Apparently, we don't.
  I don't think the message could have been clearer from millions of 
Americans across the country this summer. They said during our debate 
on the overall so-called comprehensive immigration bill: No, you got it 
wrong. The enforcement in that bill is inadequate. It has not been 
accomplished. It is not done. We want that done first. And no, you got 
it wrong. We do not want amnesty.
  Yet, even after that clear, compelling message from the American 
people, a message so overwhelming it shut down the Senate phone system 
the morning of the last vote which killed that bill, apparently a whole 
bunch of folks here still do not get it. They still are not listening. 
Because this is a bill which has no enforcement but does have clear 
  The American people have no ill will toward these minors we are 
talking about. But they do have complete confusion with regard to what 
we are doing--not fixing the problem, making it worse. Inadequate 
enforcement plus amnesty, that is a recipe for disaster. They know that 
out of innate common sense. We do nothing to stop the magnet that 
attracts illegal aliens here because we have little or no workplace 
enforcement, in particular. Yet we continue with amnesty and other 
  Please vote no, my colleagues, on proceeding to the DREAM Act.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I am voting against the motion to 
proceed to the DREAM Act today. Even though I support the end goal of 
this legislation; that is, to provide children with an education, I do 
not think the bill is perfect. I would like to see changes made. The 
bill didn't go through the proper channels and was not approved by the 
Judiciary Committee. Moreover, the majority leader has indicated that 
he will fill the tree and prevent the minority from offering amendments 
to the bill. ``Filling the tree'' by the majority leader is what this 
process is called and it freezes me out of offering amendments to 
improve the DREAM Act. For these reasons, I will oppose proceeding to 
the bill today.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I strongly support the DREAM Act. This 
bill would give promising children, who played no part in their 
parents' decision to come to this country illegally, the chance to earn 
legal status through college attendance or military service.
  Some of my colleagues have suggested that this bill constitutes 
amnesty. But the term ``amnesty'' implies that these children did 
something wrong and are being absolved of the consequences of their 
actions. It is difficult to imagine how these children can be blamed 
for actions that their parents took when the children were too young to 
have any say. The United States does not visit the sins of parents on 
their children in other contexts and should not do so here. 
Furthermore, to call the bill ``amnesty'' ignores the fact that these 
children would be required to earn their legal status through academic 
achievement or military service.
  The children who would be granted legal status under the DREAM Act 
are those who have shown through their actions that they can make an 
important contribution to our country. At a time when our economy and 
our military are in need, turning these children away squanders a 
valuable resource. It also leaves these children in a permanent limbo, 
as many of them have little or no knowledge of the country from which 
their parents came and have known no home other than the United States.
  It serves neither justice nor our national interest to deprive these 
children of a future and to deprive ourselves of their potential 
contributions. That is why I support the DREAM Act, and I urge my 
colleagues to support it as well.

[[Page 28098]]

  Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, today, I rise in support of the DREAM Act, 
introduced by Senators Durbin, Lugar, and myself. Each year, thousands 
of hard-working students who graduate from American high schools are 
unable to attend college or serve in the military because of their 
illegal immigration status.
  These young people were brought to the United States by adults who 
were breaking the law. In America, we have never held children 
responsible for their parents' sins. It is not the habit of the United 
States to punish children for the actions of their parents. Let's not 
start now.
  Many have been in our country nearly their entire lives, and most 
have received their primary education here. They contribute to their 
communities and our country by earning higher education or serving in 
the Armed Forces. It is in our national interest that they be given the 
opportunity to do so. These young people were forced into an 
unfortunate position, which have made them outcasts in our society, yet 
they have proven their potential and ambition by meeting the several 
requirements necessary to be eligible under the DREAM Act for legal 
status. We need more young people to contribute to our country, not 
  The DREAM Act would make it possible to bring these young people out 
of shadows and give them the opportunity to contribute, work, and pay 
taxes--giving back to the communities in which they were raised.
  The DREAM Act is not amnesty. It is a narrowly tailored piece of 
legislation that would help only a limited, select group of young 
people earn legal status. This is not an incentive for more illegal 
immigrants to enter our country. To be eligible for legal status under 
the DREAM Act, you must have good moral character, have graduated from 
an American high school, entered the country under the age of 15, and 
have been in the United States for at least 5 years. There is an end 
date to the DREAM Act.
  The current system punishes children for the mistakes of their 
parents. The DREAM Act will provide a legal path for undocumented 
students to pursue the American dream based on their own 
accomplishments and hard work.
  Immigration is a very complicated and difficult issue, for many 
reasons. Partly because we have deferred this issue for years. We have 
refused to take a responsible position on all the different aspects of 
immigration reform--inc1uding the DREAM Act.
  Obviously border security is the core, the beginning of immigration 
reform. I am not aware of any Senator who has questioned or contested 
that point. In July, the Senate approved $3 billion in funding for 
border security and immigration enforcement--totaling $40.6 billion in 
overall funding for homeland security. From fiscal year 1993 to fiscal 
year 2006, the budget for the Border Patrol has tripled from $362 
million to $1.6 billion.
  That is not the debate. The debate, of course, resides around the 
difficult issues, the 11 to 12 million illegals now in this country. 
The debate elicits great and deep emotions and passion--and it should. 
We were sent here to deal with the great challenges of our time, to 
resolve the issues, find solutions, not go halfway. That is leadership.
  Currently, we have provided no leadership for the American people. We 
have not had the courage to deal with it because it is political, 
because it is emotional, because it cuts across every sector and every 
line of our society. It is about national security. It is about 
autonomy and our future. It is about our society, our schools, our 
hospitals. That is difficult.
  Who are we helping with the current situation that we have today? 
People stay in the shadows, we don't collect taxes, we don't have the 
complete involvement in communities that we have always had from our 
immigrants. There is a national security element to this. There is a 
law enforcement element to it, and there is certainly an economic 
element to it. Are we really winning? No, we are losing. We are losing 
  You can take pieces of each and pick and choose which might make you 
more comfortable politically, but it doesn't work that way. It is all 
wrapped into the same enigma. It is woven into the same fabric. That is 
what we are dealing with.
  It is leadership to take on the tough issues. Immigration is one of 
those issues which tests and defines a society. It tests and defines a 
country. And the precious glue that has been indispensable in holding 
this country together for over 200 years has been common interests and 
mutual respect. I don't know of an issue that is facing our country 
today that is more important, that is framed in that precious glue 
concept more precisely than this issue. Crafting something for the 
future, for our history, for our children, and for our society--that is 
what it is about.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I don't know whether I am in control of 
time or not, but how much time is left on this side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican side has 5 minutes 47 seconds.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry: How much time 
is left on the other side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority side has 3 minutes 3 seconds.
  The Republican leader is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I want to proceed on my leader time and 
preserve the remainder of time on this side for Senator Sessions.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, earlier this year, a bipartisan group 
of Senators took up the issue of illegal immigration. It was clear from 
the debate that ensued that there are deeply held beliefs on both 
sides. It was also apparent that this is not a problem with a simple 
solution; it is one that requires time and consideration.
  And to live up to the expectation of our constituents, it seemed 
clear to me that Congress must take steps to secure our borders and 
provide for our national security first. The Senate seemed to get the 
message, because it voted overwhelmingly in July to dedicate $3 billion 
in emergency spending to help promote our border and interior security.
  I am disappointed my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are 
not continuing on the bipartisan path of enhancing our security. 
Instead, they are bringing up a controversial issue with the DREAM Act. 
This bill is an attempt to put illegal immigrants who graduate from a 
U.S. high school or obtain their GED on a special path to citizenship.
  Though I recognize and appreciate the tremendous contributions to our 
country made by generations of immigrants, I do not believe we should 
reward illegal behavior. It is our duty to promote respect for 
America's immigration laws and fairness for U.S. citizens and lawful 
  The DREAM Act fails that test and I will oppose it.
  This is not an issue that can be solved in one day, and there are 
pressing matters which we must address.
  Here we are, 4 weeks into the new fiscal year and we have yet to send 
a single appropriations bill to the President's desk. We should be 
focused on funding our troops in the field, ensuring our intelligence 
forces have the tools they need to find and catch terrorists, and 
holding the line on budget-busting spending bills.
  The Internet tax moratorium expires in exactly 1 week. Unless we act 
soon, Internet users across the country will be hit with yet another 
  And we still have yet to see any plan for addressing the looming 
middle class tax hike known as the alternative minimum tax. Secretary 
Paulson told Congress that we must act by early November if we don't 
want to see 50 million taxpayers ensnared in a confused filing season 
next year. This deadline, too, is just around the corner.
  We still have an enormous amount of work to complete, and we are 
running out of time.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this attempt to bring up a divisive 
issue, further delaying the essential, unfinished, business of the 

[[Page 28099]]

  The Senate has more than enough to do without also tackling issues 
that divide both this body and the Nation.
  Mr. President, I wish to extend my time just 1 more minute.
  It has been made clear to me in discussions that this will not be an 
open amendment process if we get on the bill. It is my understanding 
that the tree will be filled up, which, of course, would put the 
majority in control of deciding what amendments, if any, are offered. 
So this is not going to be an open debate, as far as I can tell.
  Maybe the majority would decide to bless some amendment on this side 
and allow a vote on it. I guess that is possible. But for the balance 
of the people on this side of the aisle, on my side of the aisle, the 
Republican side, I want them to understand that even if we get cloture 
on the motion to proceed, there is certainly no guarantee that this 
will be an open process that will allow a broad array of amendments.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CORNYN. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. McCONNELL. I yield to the Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I appreciate the comments made by the 
distinguished Republican leader with regard to the process we can 
anticipate and the fact that the majority leader has indicated he will 
fill the amendment tree, blocking any ability of any Senator, both on 
this side of the aisle and the other side of the aisle, to offer 
amendments to improve the bill or perhaps add other provisions that cry 
out for some remedy.
  I ask the distinguished Republican leader whether the types of 
amendments or suggestions that have been discussed informally would 
include things like adding a requirement of securing the borders and 
having an enforceable system at the worksite, or a trigger, before any 
other provisions like the DREAM Act would be considered or implemented; 
whether it would also consider--for example, we know that in the 
agricultural sector there is a lot of concern about a shortage of 
workers--whether there would be an ability to provide an amendment 
which would allow for not a path to citizenship but for a temporary 
workforce to satisfy that need in the agricultural sector; or, for 
example, in places like Texas that are fast growing States, whether 
there may be an opportunity to offer any amendments that would provide 
for a temporary worker program--not a path to citizenship--that would 
satisfy the legitimate needs of American business? Are those going to 
be precluded under the plan by the majority leader?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I say to my friend from Texas, I don't 
know for sure, but the way the process will work--we have seen it 
before under majorities of both parties--is the majority leader has the 
ability to fill up the tree and then deny any amendments or pick 
amendments. Only the majority leader would be able to answer the 
question whether an amendment dealing with workplace enforcement or an 
amendment dealing with border security or, in the case of this Senator, 
an amendment dealing with the H-2A agricultural worker program, which 
is important to my State--all of that would be within the sole 
authority of the majority leader, who would pick and choose if any 
amendments were allowed, pick and choose which ones were given a chance 
to have a vote.
  I say to my colleagues here on the minority side, we will have little 
or no control--or none, no control at all over what amendments would be 
allowed. It would be entirely controlled by the majority leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCONNELL. How much time do we have on this side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republicans have 5 minutes 45 seconds.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I know Senator Sessions is seeking time. Is Senator 
Hutchison trying to get some of the time on our side as well?
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I was really trying to have an 
opportunity to ask Senator Durbin a question and have a colloquy. I 
don't want to take from your time on that. I ask if I could have a 
colloquy with Senator Durbin on his time?
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, there has been some conversation here 
about procedure. If you would be kind enough--if the minority side will 
allow me 2 minutes for a colloquy with Senator Hutchison, and I would 
offer the same 2 minutes----
  Mr. McCONNELL. Would that be off the time of the Senator from 
  Mr. DURBIN. No, no. I asked consent for an additional 2 minutes. I 
have 3 minutes remaining, so it would be a total of 5 minutes, 2 
minutes for a colloquy with Senator Hutchison and myself, and I would 
extend 2 minutes to the time of the minority side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Unless the Senator from Alabama or Pennsylvania wants to 
speak, I would enter into a colloquy with Senator Hutchison at this 
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I have no objection to that. I assume it 
is a colloquy--but I would not want to concede that rather small amount 
of time remaining on this side.
  Mr. McCONNELL. We would lose no time, as I understand it. We would 
end up, actually, with more time, 7 minutes, which will allow the 
Senator from Alabama to have 5 and the Senator from Pennsylvania to 
have the remaining 2.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, during the course of preparing this bill 
for the floor, I have been working on both sides of the aisle. I hope 
the vote in a few minutes will evidence that. I have had a constructive 
conversation with Senator Hutchison of Texas and Senator Martinez of 
Florida and others about modifications of the DREAM Act. I believe the 
proposals they have made in principle are positive proposals that move 
us toward our goal.
  I say to the Senator from Texas, and I certainly am going to open 
this to her comments when I finish, it is my intention to offer a 
substitute amendment as the first amendment that is brought forward by 
the majority, a bipartisan amendment with Senator Hutchison which will 
achieve our mutual goals. I hope we can reach that agreement in the 
next 30 hours, after this motion prevails. Failing that agreement, the 
minority is protected because it will require another cloture vote, 
another 60-vote margin before this bill moves forward.
  So they have my word to work in good faith on the substitute 
bipartisan amendment. Failing that, their protection is a cloture vote 
which they could join in defeating.
  I yield to my colleague from Texas if she has any comment or 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I appreciate what the Senator from 
Illinois has said because I do believe there is a compromise approach 
to the DREAM Act that could have bipartisan support. As has been 
mentioned on the floor, there is no opportunity that has been laid out 
for a substitute to be considered. But the Senator from Illinois has 
given me his word. I have been working on something that I think would 
take us on the right path. This is such an important piece of 
legislation, and I do think this is isolated from the entire 
immigration issue because there----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's 2 minutes has expired.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 1 
additional minute on both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, there are young people who have been 
brought to this country as minors, not of their own doing, who have 
gone to American high schools, graduated, and who want to go to 
American colleges. They are in a limbo situation. I believe we should 
deal with this issue. We should do it in a way that helps assimilate 
these young people with a college education into our country. They have 
lived here most of their lives. If we sent them home, they wouldn't 
know what home is. There is a compassionate reason for us to try to 
work this out. But I will say, if we cannot

[[Page 28100]]

work on a bipartisan amendment, we will have another vote, as has been 
promised. I will vote against the Durbin bill. But if we can work on a 
bipartisan solution, we should try.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, how much time is left on this side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republicans now have 8 minutes 47 seconds.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I yield 4 minutes to Senator Specter, 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania is recognized.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I believe that the DREAM Act is a good 
act, and I believe that its purposes are beneficial. I think it ought 
to be enacted. But I have grave reservations about seeing a part of 
comprehensive immigration reform go forward because it weakens our 
position to get a comprehensive bill.
  Right now, we are witnessing a national disaster, a governmental 
disaster, as States and counties and cities and townships and boroughs 
and municipalities--every level of government--are legislating on 
immigration because the Congress of the United States is derelict in 
its duty to proceed.
  We passed an immigration bill out of both Houses last year. It was 
not conferenced. It was a disgrace that we couldn't get the people's 
business done. We were unsuccessful in June in trying to pass an 
immigration bill. I think we ought to be going back to it. I have 
discussed it with my colleagues.
  I had proposed a modification to the bill defeated in June, which, 
much as I dislike it, would not have granted citizenship as part of the 
bill, but would have removed fugitive status only. That means someone 
could not be arrested if the only violation was being in the country 
illegally. That would eliminate the opportunity for unscrupulous 
employers to blackmail employees with squalid living conditions and low 
wages, and it would enable people to come out of the shadows, to 
register within a year.
  We cannot support 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants, but we 
could deport the criminal element if we could segregate those who would 
be granted amnesty only.
  I believe we ought to proceed with hearings in the Judiciary 
Committee. We ought to set up legislation. If we cannot act this year 
because of the appropriations logjam, we will have time in late 
January. But as reluctant as I am to oppose this excellent idea of the 
Senator from Illinois, I do not think we ought to cherry-pick. It would 
take the pressure off of comprehensive immigration reform, which is the 
responsibility of the Federal Government. We ought to act on it, and we 
ought to act on it now.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I yield myself 4 minutes. I yield 
Senator DeMint the remaining time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator may proceed.
  Mr. SESSIONS. The Executive Office of the President of the United 
States, OMB, has issued a veto threat on this bill and said they will 
veto it because they believe it is not part of comprehensive reform, as 
Senator Specter said. They also go forward to note a number of specific 
problems with it.
  They note that we:

       [M]ust be careful not to provide incentives for recurrence 
     of the illegal conduct that has brought the Nation to this 
     point. By creating a special path to citizenship that is 
     unavailable to other prospective immigrants--including young 
     people whose parents respected our Nation's laws--S. 2205 
     falls short.

  They go on to note:

       This path to citizenship is unavailable to any other alien, 
     no matter how much promise he or she may have, no matter how 
     much he or she may contribute to American society.

  They note that it would:

       [A]llow illegal aliens to obtain a green card before many 
     individuals who are currently lawfully waiting in line.

  They note that they can:

       [P]etition almost instantly to bring family members into 
     the country.

  By the way, it would be 1.3 million people admitted under this 
program, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a fair and 
objective--certainly not a conservative group, I will say it that way.
  They go on to note that the persons would be ``eligible for welfare 
benefits within 5 years.'' The bill would be indiscriminate in who it 
would make eligible for the program through certain loopholes:

       Certain aliens convicted of multiple misdemeanors and even 

  They note that it would be vetoed. So that is President Bush who has 
been strongly favoring immigration reform. I have disagreed with him 
consistently on many of his ideas.
  Let me make mention of a couple of things that are fundamentally 
important. Most importantly, individuals are not going to take the 
military route. I would estimate at least 90 percent would take the 
option of just 2 years of college without any requirement to have to 
attain a degree.
  I submit this will strike a dagger, most importantly, in the heart of 
the decided will of the American people which is to create a lawful 
system of immigration. It would put illegals ahead of legals. It will 
make clear that even after our national debate and vote a few weeks 
ago, the Congress still does not get it; that the Congress is still 
determined to stiff the will of the decent majority of American 
citizens; that the Senate will move forward with an amnesty bill that 
puts 1.3 million people on a swift and guaranteed path to citizenship, 
ahead of millions who applied and are waiting in line lawfully, to give 
them every right of citizenship this country has to offer.
  That is what I think amnesty is, giving every single right that we 
have to offer to someone as a result of illegal conduct. So before--and 
this is important--before we make any real progress toward a lawful 
system of immigration, we have less than 100 miles of the 700 miles of 
fencing this Congress called for. There is no workplace enforcement. A 
modest attempt to do something like that has been blocked by the 
courts, and nothing has been followed up. There has been little or no--
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for an 
additional 30 seconds?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the Senator may proceed.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I will just conclude by saying, this would be the wrong 
direction. This would be to signal that, once again, we are focused on 
rewarding illegality rather than taking the steps necessary to create a 
lawful system, and at that point we can more fairly go to the American 
people and ask them to consider what to do in a compassionate way for 
those here illegally.
  I yield the remainder of the time to Senator DeMint.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina has 1 minute.
  Mr. DeMINT. I appreciate the motives of those who sponsored the bill. 
It is true that by us not enforcing our laws over many years we have 
created a lot of tragic circumstances. But the solution is not to 
reward lawbreaking and create incentives for more illegal immigration 
in the future.
  America has asked us to secure our borders, create a worker ID 
system, and an immigration system that works. If we do this, if we 
build that foundation, then the possibility of comprehensive reform 
becomes a reality.
  I would encourage my colleagues not to chip away in the way of trying 
to provide compassion through amnesty, but let's fix the system like we 
promised and revisit this next year. Then, hopefully, we can achieve 
the comprehensive reforms that my colleagues have talked about. I urge 
my colleagues to vote against proceeding to this bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. DURBIN. How much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 3 minutes 8 seconds remaining.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, what are we talking about? We are talking 

[[Page 28101]]

children. We are talking about children who are brought to this country 
by their parents. Since when in America do we visit the sins and crimes 
of parents on children?
  If a parent commits a crime, does that mean the child goes to prison? 
If a parent disqualifies himself or herself from American citizenship, 
does that mean the child can never have a chance? Is that what America 
has come to amidst the confusion and distortion and vitriol on this 
debate on immigration, children such as Marie Gonzalez? She was brought 
to this country from Costa Rica by her parents at the age of 5. Her 
parents have been deported as illegals. Because I have made a special 
request, she has been allowed to continue to finish her college 
education at Westminister College in Missouri. Her goal is to be an 
American and to give to the only country she has ever known. Costa Rica 
is not her country; America is her country.
  What we are talking about is turning these children out. And what 
sin, what crime did they commit? They obeyed their parents; they 
followed their parents. And for some, that is going to be a mark of 
Cain on their head forever in America. Is that what we are all about? 
Give these kids a chance. Meet them. Take time to see these children. 
Many of us have.
  And what you will see in their eyes is the same kind of hope for this 
country we want to see in our own children's eyes, to be doctors and 
nurses and teachers, engineers, to find cures for diseases, start 
businesses, the things that make America grow.
  Give these kids a chance. Do not take your anger out on illegal 
immigration on children who have nothing to say about this. They were 
brought to this country, they have lived a good life, they have proven 
themselves, they have beaten the odds. We need them.
  Do not turn around and tell me tomorrow that you need H1-B visas to 
bring in talented people to America because we do not have enough. Do 
not tell me you need H2-B, H2-A, and all of the rest of them if you are 
going to turn away these children, if you are going to say: America 
doesn't need you, go about your business, find someplace in the world. 
Do not come back to me and tell me that we need a bigger labor pool and 
more talent in America.
  How can we say no to hope? How can we say no to these kids when all 
they want is a piece of the American dream? Please, vote to proceed to 
the DREAM Act. I will work with Senator Hutchison on a bipartisan 
amendment. We will do our best. I think we can come up with something. 
Give us a chance. Give these kids a chance.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I need to correct one statement I made 
previously. I said the President had issued a veto threat. He does not 
normally do that on a motion for cloture situation. It was a statement 
of objection for the bill without an explicit threat of veto.

                             CLOTURE MOTION

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, pursuant to rule XXII, 
the Chair lays before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the 
clerk will state.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

  We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of 
rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring 
to a close debate on the motion to proceed to Calendar No. 431, S. 
2205, DREAM Act.

         Richard J. Durbin, Robert Menendez, Daniel K. Inouye, 
           Robert P. Casey, Jr., Joe Lieberman, Patty Murray, Jeff 
           Bingaman, Jack Reed, Patrick Leahy, Charles Schumer, 
           Daniel K. Akaka, Frank R. Lautenberg, Benjamin L. 
           Cardin, John Kerry, S. Whitehouse, Barbara Boxer, Harry 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The questions is, Is it the sense of the 
Senate that debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2205, a bill to 
authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of 
certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and 
who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes, 
shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call 
the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer), 
the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Dodd), and the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy) would vote ``yea.''
  Mr. LOTT. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Menendez). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 44, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 394 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)



                             NOT VOTING--4

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 52, the nays are 
44. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.