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House Passes DREAM Act 216 to 198!

Today the House of Representatives bravely passed the DREAM Act by 216 to 198. It has taken a decade to get to this point. The bill, known as Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010, was attached to H.R. 5281 and was originally filed as H.R. 6497. This bill differs from the Senate bill S. 3992, which will be voted upon tomorrow morning. The Senate needs 60 favorable votes to pass. Keep making those calls to the Senate: 1-866-966-5161 or email.

Key differences in the two bills are that the House bill grants conditional nonimmigrant status in two five-year periods before students can file for green cards, whereas the Senate bill has just one 10-year period of status. The House version has a different fee structure and kicks in a $2000 fee for the second five-year period. The two bills vary as to when the higher education or military requirements must be met, and they vary as to when the deadline for initial application is required. The House bill makes DREAM Act students ineligible for Stafford loans while the Senate bill permits them. There are several other minor differences.

In the final roll call, , the Washington delegation was split with most voting for the bill except Representatives Hastings, Baird and Reichart. Rep. McMorris Roberts did not vote.