DREAM Act passed in the House of Representatives

By a narrow margin of 216 votes to 198, the House of Representatives tonight passed the DREAM Act. Today was the first time in the 10-year legislative history of the DREAM Act that the House passed the bill.

8 Republicans, including Florida's 3 Hispanics: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), voted in favor of the bill that could provide a path to legalization for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.

38 Democrats voted against the DREAM Act. It is now up to the Senate to vote. An opening debate vote is expected to be held tomorrow around 11 a.m. 60 votes are needed to pass the measure. These are considered nearly impossible to obtain, as it mandatorily requires the votes of all Democrats, independent Senators, and the support of several Republicans in the Senate to reach the required votes. Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (of Arizona) and Orrin Hatch (of Utah), who in 2006 supported the DREAM Act, are now against the bill. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson (Nebraska) has already said he will vote against the bill.

Most Republicans who opposed the DREAM Act said the bill was a "nightmare" rather than a dream, and that the proposal is amnesty.