On Tuesday two top Republican Senators introduced their own variation of the DREAM Act to grant legal status to young illegal immigrants in a crucial signal by the party designed to show how serious they are about the issue since their crushing defeat in the US presidential election earlier this month.
Republican Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchinson from Texas introduced the new bill, referred to as the ACHIEVE Act, which was co-sponsored by one-time presidential hopeful Senator John McCain.
The bill would offer young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States when they were children a three-step visa system that would give them a chance to gain a permanent legal status within the country. The bill would mean that those eligible to apply would have to have been in the United States for five years and have arrived before they turned 14, as well as having no record of having committed a felony or several misdemeanors.
The first level of the visa process provides students with the opportunity to earn a degree for as long as six years and four years for those in the US military. Once they have served or gotten a degree applicant would be eligible to be granted a four-year work visa or have the option of continuing their studies. They would then be eligible to submit an application for a permanent non-immigrant visa.
While the Senators deny the Republican Party’s poor showing in the election has anything to do with the proposal, White House spokesman Jay Carney notes that the Party has more “incentive” right now.