Draft of Republican 'DREAM Act Lite' Immigration Bill Leaked
On Thursday, Sunshine State News reported on tea party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio's proposal to reform U.S. immigration policy incrementally, beginning with legalizing undocumented youth who immigrated when they were children.
The Daily Caller has since released what it says is a proposal circulating among Republican legislators, which appears to be a draft on the legislation Rubio's press secretary Alex Conant told the News is in the works:
"The Daily Caller has obtained details of an ACHIEVE Act proposal being floated by some Senate Republicans.
"It appears similar to the conservative alternative to the Dream Act that Sen. Marco Rubio worked on last summer (before President Obama issued his executive order, effectively tabling the issue until after the election).
"Essentially, the proposal involves several tiers: W-1 visa status would allow an immigrant to attend college or serve in the military (they have six years to get a degree). After doing so, they would be eligible to apply for a four-year non-immigrant work visa (also can be used for graduate degrees.)
"Next, applicants would be eligible to apply for a permanent visa (no welfare benefits). Finally, after a set number of years, citizenship could follow
"Below are a few of the details being floated to be eligible for the W-1 visa:
"-- 'Applicant must have lived in the U.S. for five years prior to the Acts enactment.'
"-- Must have entered the country before age 14
"-- Must have good moral character.
"-- 'Applicant must not have committed a felony, must not have committed more than one misdemeanor with a jail term of more than 30 days, must not have committed a crime of moral turpitude, and must not have a final order of removal pending.'
"-- Must have knowledge of the English language, U.S. history, 'and of principles of U.S. government.'
"-- Applicant must be 28 or younger at time of application (or 32 if they have a bachelors degree from a U.S. college).
"-- Must pay a $525 fee.
"-- Must submit to a medical exam and a background check, submit biometric and biographic data, and register with the Selective Service."
Conant told the Huffington Post the text is indeed "a working draft of what Sen. Rubio began working on over the summer."
"Senator Rubio has said that his proposal would be permanent and legalize the status of undocumented young people in America without creating a special pathway to citizenship," he told the Post. "We are still working on the timing and specifics of our legislation, with the goal of permanently solving the problem with broad, bipartisan support."
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