In the final days of the last congressional session, Senators supporting the Dream Act were five votes short of the number needed to block a filibuster. The bill, which passed the House in early December, would have opened the possibility of citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and subsequently completed two years of college or military service. Although three Republicans supported the legislation — Robert Bennett of Utah, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - five Democrats opposed the bill, including Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Tester of Montana. See Julia Preston, Bill to Grant Legal Status to Immigrant Students Heads to a Vote in the Senate (N.Y. Times 12/17/2010); David M. Herszenhorn, Senate Blocks Bill for Young Illegal Immigrants (N.Y. Times 12/18/2010).
By early January, the conversation shifted to efforts in Arizona and other states to deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to undocumented immigrant parents. See Marc Lacey, Birthright Citizenship Looms as Next Immigration Battle(N.Y. Times 1/4/2011).