The leading Republican “alternative” to replace President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will reportedly allow beneficiaries a “path to citizenship” — and will cover 2.5 million illegal aliens, not just the original 800,000 beneficiaries.
McClatchy reports that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) will introduce the so-called “Republican Dream Act” on Monday, which is supposedly the best that conservatives believe they can do.
The news service reports:
Details are still being worked out, but the Tillis plan would be a companion proposal to a House bill introduced by Miami Republican Carlos Curbelo.
Like Curbelo’s bill, the Tillis plan would offer an eventual path to U.S. citizenship for immigrants who entered illegally before Jan. 1, 2012, and were 16 years old or younger.
The proposal would grant high school graduates without a serious criminal record conditional immigration status for a five-year period. During that time, if they earn a higher-education degree, serve in the military or stay employed, they could apply for permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship.
About 2.5 million Dreamers would be eligible.
One reason for the vastly greater number of recipients — about three times the current number — is that the window of eligibility would be extended from DACA’s original 2007 cutoff date to 2012.
Critics of attempts to legalize DACA have predicted that legislators would shift the deadlines — and not just in this round of legislation, but in future as well.
Earlier this month, Breitbart News suggested three deal-breakers for any DACA deal: 1. a path to citizenship; 2. no border wall funding; 3. security before legalization.
The “Republican Dream Act” reportedly violates the first, and likely violates the other two as well.
President Donald Trump rescinded DACA earlier this month, but gave Congress a six-month window in which to deal with the issue before his decision takes effect.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.