by David Mendez
Today, Senator Jon Kyl's office announced that he, in partnership with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, introduced legislation that would give young, undocumented residents of the United States, brought here as children, a path to citizenship.
But, just in case you thought it might be, it's not the DREAM Act. After all, that provides a special path to citizenship, and we can't have that, can we?
No, this is the similarly cheerful-sounding ACHIEVE Act, which creates potential roads to citizenship for undocumented immigrants without creating some sort of special, unfair path that skips most of the board and proceeds directly to Go. It's just, y'know, new legislation to do so.
Under this legislation, applicants who have lived in the U.S. longer than five years before its enactment and came here before the age of 14 would be able to get on the path to permanent residency (and eventual citizenship) if they complete an undergraduate or technical degree, or enlist in the military.
This three-step path to citizenship would take ten years for the path to citizenship and, though I'm poking fun at it, is somewhat reasonable. The only problem is that both Kyl and Hutchison are retiring, and therefore won't be able to push for it next year.
According to The Hill,
Kyl pointed out that Sen.-elect Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) "was very forward-leaning on trying to get comprehensive immigration reform" passed in the House. But, he said, Flake hasn't had a chance to look into all the details of the new bill.
Hutchison said she had talked with Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (R-Texas), describing him as "very interested" in the bill but not saying whether he planned to support it.
So whether or not this actually gains traction in the next Congress is up in the air. We'll wait and see.