ABC Finds ‘Dream Dies’ for Illegal Immigrants Because of Conservatives

 As ABC’s World News Sunday recounted President Obama’s failed effort to provide citizenship for immigrants who entered the country illegally as children if they go to college or enter the military, the issue was framed as conservatives standing in the way of the "dream" of such immigrants, and, as anchor Dan Harris introduced a report on the measure that failed in the Senate - dubbed the Dream Act by supporters - a graphic appeared beside Harris with the words "Dream Dies" because Republicans succeeded in blocking the bill’s passage.

Harris and correspondent Tahman Bradley both raised the possibility that Hispanic voters would punish Republicans by supporting Democrats in the next election. Harris introduced the piece:

The President was, we should say, dealt one significant defeat this weekend when Republicans blocked the so-called Dream Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came here as kids brought by their parents. But could this legislative loss ultimately turn into a political win?

Bradley began his report highlighting the plight of Diego Alvarez, who entered the country illegally as a child, as Alvarez hoped that passage of the Dream Act would make it possible for him to go to college, with the ABC correspondent contending that his "dream" had been "deferred" because of the recent Senate vote. Bradley: "For Diego Alvarez of Marshall Town, Iowa, the Senate's vote means a dream deferred." Then came clips of Alvarez calling the vote "heartbreaking," and complaining that "it’s not right" that some believe he does not belong in the country.

Bradley warned that the possibility of passage could be "more bleak" next year because Congress will be more conservative, but relayed predictions from unidentified "political observers" that Republicans could be hurt politically by opposing the plan. He ended up sympathetically referring again to Alvarez’s "dream," describing it as being "far from certain." Bradley:

The prospect for this bill could get even more bleak when the new, more conservative Congress convenes next year. President Obama called the demise of the Dream Act "incredibly disappointing," but some political observers say this defeat could benefit him politically if it drives Hispanics to the Democrats. For Diego, though, his dream of reaching his potential here is far from certain.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the December 19, World News Sunday on ABC:

DAN HARRIS: The President was, we should say, dealt one significant defeat this weekend when Republicans blocked the so-called Dream Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came here as kids brought by their parents. But could this legislative loss ultimately turn into a political win? Here's Tahman Bradley.

TAHMAN BRADLEY: For Diego Alvarez of Marshal Town, Iowa, the Senate's vote means a dream deferred.

DIEGO ALVAREZ: It's heartbreaking because I was really hoping for it to pass.

BRADLEY: Brought to the U.S. illegally when he was two, now 20, he wants to go to a university, but without a Social Security number, he says, schools won't process his application. And Mexico, for him, is at this point a foreign country.

ALVAREZ: This is all I know. This is my home. And for them to tell me that I don't belong here, it's not right.

BRADLEY: Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were brought to the U.S. as children. The Dream Act would have granted them citizenship by attending college or enlisting in the military. Critics call that a reward for illegal activity. The Senate voted in favor of the bill at 55 to 41, but that wasn't enough to stop a Republican filibuster.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We're not going to pass the Dream Act or any other legalization program until we secure our borders.

BRADLEY: The prospect for this bill could get even more bleak when the new, more conservative Congress convenes next year. President Obama called the demise of the Dream Act "incredibly disappointing," but some political observers say this defeat could benefit him politically if it drives Hispanics to the Democrats. For Diego, though, his dream of reaching his potential here is far from certain. Tahman Bradley, ABC News, Washington.