An immigration bill that would blaze a trail to legal status for hundreds of thousands of undocumented students went down in flames in the Senate on Saturday, delivering a critical blow to Democrats and Hispanic activists.

Even though the House approved the DREAM Act last week, the Senate fell five votes short of the 60 needed Saturday to advance the bill past Republican opposition.

President Obama said in a statement it was “incredibly disappointing” that Senate Republicans blocked the bill.

The DREAM Act, which opponents have decried as a “nightmare,” is now likely to languish for years with Republicans taking back control of the House and picking up an additional handful of seats in the Senate next month.

Both sides, which have fought tooth and nail over the bill,  immediately reacted to Saturday’s vote.

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