Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller summarizes the main proposals in the ACHIEVE Act, a Republican version of the Obama-approved DREAM Act:
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 nonimmigrant 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…”
Then follows a laundry list of criteria for securing citizenship that – surprise! – is much less generous to children of illegal immigrants than the DREAM Act.
I applaud the GOP Senators and staff who are trying to deliver a coherent response to the Democrats’ backdoor amnesty proposal. But the conservative contribution to comprehensive immigration reform won’t be made by low-balling benefits to an ethnic voting bloc.
Instead, conservatives need to put together a package of border security and visa reforms that seizes control of United States immigration policy. If those reforms are agreed to only then should they seriously consider swallowing hard on the DREAM Act.
Conservatives aren’t any good at concocting government giveaways. That’s a liberal’s skill set. Rather, it would be much better, as a matter of integrity and competency, for conservatives to hold out for real border security and real money to fund it. At least then we could point to a real achievement instead of being outbid yet again.