WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Tuesday criticized the Senate for not advancing immigration reform.
Obama met with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Reps. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., Nydia Valazquez, D-N.Y., Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., following the Senate's failure Saturday to allow the DREAM Act to advance. The measure would have allowed illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children and who completed high school and attended college or joined the military to achieve legal status.
The Senate Saturday fell five votes short of ending a Republican filibuster against the measure, effectively ending immigration reform efforts this year, and possibly for the next two years. The House passed the measure this year.
Obama assured those attending the meeting he will not give up on the legislation and said he remains committed to comprehensive immigration reform.
The White House estimates the DREAM Act would have shaved the federal budget deficit by $2.2 billion in the next decade.