Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Immigration Reform Revs up in US

With President Obama's re-election, the issue of information reform is back on the table--even in the midst of bickering over the "Fiscal Cliff." The Obama Administration had pushed the DREAM Act, aimed at providing college opportunities for children who had been brought to the US by their parents as undocumented immigrants. That failed in the Senate in 2010, as I noted at the time, whereas a temporary administrative order was issued earlier this year. Governor Brown signed California's version of the DREAM Act into law in October of 2011, so even before the most recent election there was some momentum for change. That was given a boost this week by a three-day meeting in Kansas City of a group calling itself the United We Dream network. Today's New York Times reports on the story:
The leaders of the United We Dream network, the largest organization of youths here illegally, decided to push President Obama and Congress next year for legislation to open a path to citizenship for them and their families. The move will increase pressure on Mr. Obama and lawmakers to pass a comprehensive overhaul, rather than taking on the debate over immigration in smaller pieces to try to gain more support among Republicans.
They take their name from the Dream Act, a bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for young people, which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle view as having a better chance than broader legalization measures. This year several Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, worked on alternative proposals that could attract support from their party. An estimated 1.7 million young immigrants would be eligible for legal status under the Dream Act.
Republicans have thus far countered with a proposal that would provide legal status for minor children of undocumented immigrants, but would not provide a path to citizenship. This is called the Achieve Act. Is there any room for compromise between the Achievers and the Dreamers? It seems too early yet to tell.

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