Nov 27, 2012 Comments Off Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Washington Times: Saying they want to get the conversation on immigration reform started, top Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a version of the so-called “Dream Act” to grant young illegal immigrants legal status in the US, though not giving them a special path to citizenship.
GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison said they have introduced a bill that would reward those who take college classes or join the military.
“We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring this year. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”
Their bill would be more limited than the proposals Democrats have sought, which would have been more generous with a path to citizenship and broader in the number of immigrants it would apply to. But Ms. Hutchison, Texas Republican, said she and Mr. Kyl have tried to accommodate some Democratic lawmakers’ concerns.
The legislation would reward students with higher status the further along they are in pursuing their education. Those who earn a four-year college degree or complete military service could apply for a permanent visa that wouldn’t put them on a new path to citizenship, but would allow them to join existing lines by getting married to a U.S. citizen or finding another opportunity to adjust their status.
Mr. Kyl said that, given how prominent marriage is as a way of gaining a path to citizenship, he figures many of those who get legal status would eventually be able to earn green cards, which is the intermediary step before citizenship.