• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Republicans block youth immigration bill

December 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Senate Republicans blocked a bill to grant illegal immigrants brought to the United States as kids a chance for legal status if they enroll in college or join the military.

Sponsors of the "Dream Act" needed 60 Senate votes but fell five short. The House passed the bill last week.

Immigrant advocates viewed the measure as a step toward providing a path to legal status for up to 12 million illegal immigrants by focusing on the most sympathetic among them first.

Critics called it a "back-door grant of amnesty" that would encourage more illegal immigration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.