Last presidential election cycle, Texas Governor Rick Perry was disqualified by the Republican base largely because of his support for Texas’ DREAM Act, granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Now Senate Republicans are proposing a national version of the same act, suggesting that young illegal immigrants be handed legal status in the United States for attending college. According to GOP Sens. Jon Kyl (AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), the time for the bill is now. “We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Kyl. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”
Kyl and Hutchison say they’ve worked through the legislation with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Rubio is widely considered a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican nomination.
In the wake of Republicans’ devastating 2012 election losses, many on the right have speculated that the party must reach out to the Latino community. But instead of pursuing comprehensive immigration reform which would trade border security for a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States – or even pursuing the DREAM Act as part of a larger immigration package – the Republicans seem to be considering handing the Democrats not only a political win, but an incentive for more illegal immigrants to come to the United States.