In 2001, Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act -- better known as the DREAM Act -- into the Senate. The legislation would’ve made it possible for the children of undocumented immigrants to gain permanent residency if they stayed out of trouble and went to school or joined the military. The idea was that we shouldn’t make kids pay for the migration decisions of their parents, and we shouldn’t deny our economy skilled workers we’ve already paid to educate or our military eager recruits who want to defend the country they’ve grown up in.

Hatch’s legislation quickly proved popular with his Republican colleagues. His initial cosponsors included Sens. Sam Brownback, Larry Craig, Mike DeWine, Chuck Grassley, and Richard Lugar. When Hatch reintroduced the bill in 2003, Sens. Lincoln Chaffee, Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, Mike Crapo, Peter Fitzgerald, Chuck Hagel, John McCain and Ben Nighthorse Campbell joined the list of co-sponsors. The legislation cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with ease: The final tally was 16-3, with seven of the 10 Republicans voting in favor.

More than a decade later, the DREAM Act still hasn’t been signed into law.
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