Video: Kyl and Hutchison introduce GOP version of DREAM Act

posted at 9:21 pm on November 27, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller. It speaks volumes of the politics of this that two of the three senators who are sponsoring it are retiring next month and the other, McCain, just won reelection two years ago and will be 80 when he decides whether to run again. No one here, in other words, is worried about a primary.

The key difference between DREAM and ACHIEVE is citizenship, but in the end it’s not much of a difference:

The DREAM Act offers applicants temporary residency for a six-year period after completing two years of college or two years in the military. Within this period undocumented immigrants may then qualify for permanent residency, and as a permanent residents can later try the path to citizenship.

As for the Achieve Act, it offers three different visas: the first, good for up to six years, for students; the second, a work visa good for four years, and the third is a permanent nonimmigrant visa that would have to be renewed every five years. Those who fall under the Achieve Act and are interested in U.S. citizenship would have to apply for a green card and go through the same procedures as other immigrants.

So DREAM creates a special path to citizenship and makes that path relatively short. ACHIEVE doesn’t create a special path and takes longer, but if you follow the steps and land a renewable W-3 work visa under the act, then…

No new green cards are added in the Act, but a W-3 visa recipient could take advantage of opportunities in current law to obtain one; for example, if a W-3 visa holder were to marry a U.S. citizen, that alien, already in W-3 status and now married to a U.S. citizen, would be eligible for a green card (legal permanent resident status). Citizenship could follow after the requisite number of years required in green card status (and processing usually takes around a year after that).

Kyl was candid about that in today’s presser; click here and skip to 6:15 for the key bit. Since most of the kids who qualify for the W-3 under ACHIEVE will remain in the U.S. and marry American citizens, they’ll end up with a path to citizenship anyway. It’ll just be a path already blazed by current law, not something novel and expedited cooked up by Democrats so that they can bank Latino votes as quickly as possible. Which explains why you’re already seeing reactions like this:

“Today’s Kyl/Hutchinson presser makes it clear that #ACHIEVE is no #DREAM Act. No path to citizenship, only second-class legal status,” tweeted immigration policy analyst Phil Wolgin.

That’s what Kyl and Hutchison get for trying to wear down Republican resistance to a limited amnesty. And there’ll be plenty more where that came from. There are many ways to challenge the basic precepts of ACHIEVE — a few weeks ago Mark Krikorian argued that it simultaneously did too much and too little — but the main liberal line of attack will be that it’s “cruel” to deny these kids their God-given right to elect Democrats by delaying their legal path to full citizenship. If Reid agrees to take this up next year, presumably it’ll only be because he thinks he can get McCain and Rubio and whoever else to bend a little on the citizenship point. But like I said when I wrote about this last time, I don’t understand why he’d agree to take this up when he could try to leverage Republican panic over electoral demographics and push for full comprehensive immigration reform instead. ACHIEVE is basically the GOP’s attempt to buy goodwill from Latino voters by passing the most limited amnesty possible for the most sympathetic illegal immigrant class. Reid would be a sucker to let them do that on the cheap. Demand comprehensive reform and some sort of path to citizenship, however elongated, as part of it, then after it passes immediately begin accusing all of the Republicans who just voted for it of hating illegals because they wouldn’t agree to citizenship on a faster track. The Democrats don’t care about work visas; they care about votes, and voting requires citizenship. The two least surprising sentences published in political media today, via National Journal: “Democrats are rejecting such an idea [ACHIEVE] for now, arguing that the concept would create an underclass of people in the United States if they don’t have full voting rights. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid is hoping for a broader bill that would address the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country.”

Here’s video from the Caller. Kyl seems oddly taken with the procedural angle, that they’re doing things by the book constitutionally by trying to codify ACHIEVE instead of imposing the policy via executive fiat, as Obama did several months ago. So O exceeded his constitutional power by handing down this new rule, and now his punishment will be that … Congress will just enact his preferred policy for him anyway, with GOP help? (Kyl himself described ACHIEVE at today’s presser as being “not dissimilar” from Obama’s DREAM rule.) Go easy on the guy, Jon.


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And as an added thought, if you are serious about wanting to attempt to convince anyone that they should listen to your thoughts….you might want to think about dropping that “zealot” stuff
lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

What is sure not to win any followers is to continue with your red herrings. I gave you a detailed exposition about why I think the proposed act is a good idea (hopefully you learned something in the process, like the difference between immigrant and non immigrant status or the meaning of “good moral character” for immigration law purposes). Not only you didn’t address any of my arguments but you replied with the same old canards that solve absolutely nothing. The proposed law, just as the 2007 proposals, does not give amnesty in the 1986 sense or the Democratic DREAM Act sense. Non-immigrant status takes these people, those who are in good moral character, out of the shadows. It continues to keep the criminals at bay (even minor criminals that don’t pass the good moral character test). It allows the federal government to track where they are (because as an immigrant you are obligated to notify the Federal Government of every change of address). If the purpose is to limit illegal immigration, enforcing the status quo is not the solution, because the status quo is broken. You could add any number of US patrol agents and it would solve absolutely nothing because the border is huge. Those who employ illegal immigrants of Mexican origin in agriculture will continue to do so, like it or not. The reason is simple, Americans demand cheap food while at the same time many of those who are in the unemployment ranks refuse to work under the conditions that allow those cheap prizes to exist, as the illegal Mexicans do. High tech workers will continue to come to the US, like it or not. Giving these workers the freedom to change employers is something that will benefit the US. And finally, US citizens of Mexican/Chinese origin will continue to bring in their whole families (legally) to the US who will eventually become Democratic voters for the most part, like it or not. According to the 2011 Immigration Handbook published by the USCIS, of the 1 million or so immigrants that got their greencards legally in the US, only 140000 were employment based (which is the statutory limit). More than 200000 thousand were parents, siblings and older children of US citizens. After 5 years, these can become US citizens and thus vote. Those are the facts of the current system. It’s insane to keep it as it is now. And yet, that’s what ZEALOTS like yourself want to do.

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

One of the requirements of the proposed law is to keep “good moral character”;

I don’t understand why I shouldn’t be completely skeptical about this so-called “requirement”. Again, the 1986 amnesty law criminalized the act of knowingly hiring illegals. Isn’t that when those nifty little I-9 forms came to be. Well, I’ve seen first hand what a joke they have become.

lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM

More than 200000 thousand were parents, siblings and older children of US citizens. After 5 years, these can become US citizens and thus vote.

I forgot to say, that then they continue exploiting the system. Because say that as a US citizen you sponsor your brother. After he becomes a citizen, he will be able to sponsor his wife who, after she becomes a citizen, will be able to sponsor her parents as immediate relatives and so on. The current system is completely insane and untenable. But yet, those of your kind love it. From what I have seen, most of the conservative talking heads that speak of enforcing the current system, and that would include Allahpundit, as a solution to the problem seem to be completely ignorant about the reality of the current system. In a way, they remind me of those liberals who believe that the solution to everything is to raise taxes to the wealthy. Both are great talking points for their respective bases, but in reality they accomplish nothing to fix immigration or the deficit respectively.

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I don’t understand why I shouldn’t be completely skeptical about this so-called “requirement”. Again, the 1986 amnesty law criminalized the act of knowingly hiring illegals. Isn’t that when those nifty little I-9 forms came to be. Well, I’ve seen first hand what a joke they have become.

Because, as I am telling you by having had to go through the criminal background process twice (first for my greencard, then for my citizenship) it’s very comprehensive, not the I-9 joke. You are fingerprinted and your fingerprints and your name are checked against the FBI database that collects information from crime enforcement agencies nationwide. It’s the same process people who need clearance for federal employment purposes need to follow.

Further, say that you somehow manage to break the system, unlikely in this day and age of electronic records, and that somehow your 20+ year old conviction doesn’t show up anywhere and you lie when you apply for the greencard. Legally speaking, your greencard and US citizenship could be taken away because the crime of getting an immigration benefit via willful misrepresentation or lying doesn’t have a statute of limitations. So it’s a good a system as it can get.

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

What is sure not to win any followers is to continue with your red herrings.
p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I’m not looking for followers. You on the other hand, have an uphill battle on your hands if you want to attempt to get Republicans to believe this is a good idea…because from what I can tell, as of now, for every one Hispanic vote you think you will gain from amnesty, you will lose two conservatives from the base….at least. Anyway, thank you for your perspective… but since you are going to insist on identifying those of us that merely want our existing laws enforced as some sort of extremists, I think I’ll end this. Good luck trying to win the hearts and minds of all those other zealots.

lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM

I’m not looking for followers. You on the other hand, have an uphill battle on your hands if you want to attempt to get Republicans to believe this is a good idea…because from what I can tell, as of now, for every one Hispanic vote you think you will gain from amnesty, you will lose two conservatives from the base….at least.

Who would then go and vote for a liberal democrat like Barack Obama… Now, that’s silly.

Anyway, thank you for your perspective… but since you are going to insist on identifying those of us that merely want our existing laws enforced as some sort of extremists, I think I’ll end this. Good luck trying to win the hearts and minds of all those other zealots.

Again, a talking point. I just showed you the ways in which the current laws are broken but it seems that it doesn’t matter to you. The current system is LEGALLY inundating the US with future Democratic voters (the family members of said Mexican/Asian immigrants). You are taking from ideology here, not reason. As I said, you are like those libs who believe that raising taxes for families who make more than 250K is going to fix the deficit problem. Just as their “tax the rich” talking point defies the laws of mathematics, your “enforce the current laws” defies the current reality. The status quo will make things worse for the GOP, not better.

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Who would then go and vote for a liberal democrat like Barack Obama… Now, that’s silly.

Conservatives will not vote for another Obama, I can assure you…but they will not continue to go along to get along either. Do you read here frequently? Do you actually converse with conservatives on a regular basis? Do you not understand how disgusted everyone is right now? I am honestly concerned the GOP will fracture the party with these amnesty proposals, and conservatives will let them go down in flames.

I will re-read what you have told me with an open mind… and I will attempt to understand our current system more than I do now. I’m sure you are probably right that some of our laws need to changed, however, providing amnesty seems like a lousy answer to our problems.

lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Conservatives will not vote for another Obama, I can assure you…but they will not continue to go along to get along either. Do you read here frequently? Do you actually converse with conservatives on a regular basis? Do you not understand how disgusted everyone is right now? I am honestly concerned the GOP will fracture the party with these amnesty proposals, and conservatives will let them go down in flames.

I will re-read what you have told me with an open mind… and I will attempt to understand our current system more than I do now. I’m sure you are probably right that some of our laws need to changed, however, providing amnesty seems like a lousy answer to our problems.

lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I am as conservative as you can get. I find myself in the minority here in California but I am as Fox News watching, Hotair/Drudge reader as the most fervent conservatives here.

I didn’t vote for Romney in this election (I left the presidential section blank) because I found it an outrage that he picked Ted Olson to coach Paul Ryan for his debate with Biden. In case you didn’t know, Ted Olson has spent the last 3 years working to nullify the will of the people of California that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Prop 8 passed solidly 4 years ago just as this year prop 34, that would have abolished the death penalty, was defeated solidly (voted No to prop 34). Not sure if I would have voted for him had I lived in a swing state but, needless to say that I despise RINOs from the deepest of my heart. And yes, I am also a very pro life person.

I am talking to you from the perspective of somebody who left his native place in search of everything that conservatives love: individual freedom, free markets, entrepreneurial opportunities, etc. I was born and raised in Europe, so I know pretty much what the “socialist utopia” looks like. Not very pretty unless you are a politician or a government bureaucrat. Becoming either is the dream of college graduates in those countries. I was pretty depressed when Obama was elected the first time because I recognized his rhetoric pretty quickly. It’s the same socialist rhetoric I have heard from European politicians since I was a kid.

And yet, I find this insistence in “enforcing the current immigration system” coming from certain conservatives very troubling. Many are talking from ignorance for sure (as I said I am utterly ignorant about how the immigration system works in the country of my birth) but failing to realize that the current system is untenable is a problem. Take the 2007 law for instance. As I said it was defeated because of the numerous lobbies that were opposed to it. Taking a look at the cloture votes in the US Senate, it seems that hard core conservatives played a key role in defeating it. Well, guess what, 5 years later we have 1 million more potential Democratic voters (200000 per year) that just became Permanent Residents legally that would not have become otherwise (because as I said the 2007 law limited the ability to sponsor family members to spouses and children younger than 21).

Any future deal struck on immigration will be worse, demographically speaking, for conservatives than the 2007 law. In fact, I am sure that many of the Republican senators who voted no then now are having second thoughts.

There are many people who want to come to America legally. And the majority of these people are naturally aligned with the conservative viewpoint even if, as Susana Martinez said, they don’t know it right away. The GOP has to make its party welcoming to them. To be sure there has to be a selection mechanism not only to keep the best and brightest but also to recognize that there are low skill jobs that Americans are not willing to do. There has to be a legal path for non Americans to do those jobs (now there is no such path and as a result most low skilled immigrants are illegal).

By insisting in unreasonable positions, these conservatives are causing the Dems gain ground. The Dems ram through their agendas in those states that are more ethnically diverse. Take California. Prop 8, that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was solidly approved. And the pro gay marriage advocates are so afraid of losing a second time (given that in the state of Washington gay marriage was approved very narrowly) that their strategy is to continue to push for Prop 8 to be declared unconstitutional (with Ted Olson’s help). The death penalty continues to be popular here as the defeat of prop 34 proved this year. So even in the bluest of states, the so called “social issues” are not the ones that keep people from voting for the GOP. In Silicon Valley, where I live, people love money and free markets. Many Silicon Valley high tech workers are in fact libertarians even though they vote Democratic. However, it’s very difficult to attract new voters when you present yourself as the party of not welcoming new members that “look different”. We might not get a plurality of Hispanics, but getting back to the 44% that GW got would have flipped Florida and Colorado this year. The difference between what Romney got and what GW got is 1.7% represents in the total national popular vote. The bottom line is that the Dems are using the hard core, and unreasonable, conservative position on immigration as a proxy to depict the GOP as a stronghold place for racists. Now, the GOP doesn’t have to capitulate on any matter to assuage the Dems but what is doing with immigration is even worse. By not moving, for the sake of not moving, not only it is hurting its brand but what is worse, it is helping the Dems get ~ 200000 more potential liberal voters every year. Not very smart, me thinks.

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 6:53 PM

p_incorrect on November 29, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I am as conservative as you can get.

Then I’m sure you understand what I am saying if you read here often. Conservatives are absolutely sickened right now. They ( and I say “they” because I don’t know if I technically qualify… I may be a little more moderate than some, but basically I find myself aligned with them on most issues)…anyway, I think the majority feel like the GOP just continues to move left, and they see no reason to continue on that road. Why did it take Romney so long to clinch the nomination? Because he wasn’t considered to be a conservative, no? Romney was probably the 3rd or 4th choice for alot of Republican primary voters…but I digress. My point is that conservatives, IMO, have felt for quite some time that they have given their vote to more moderate nominees for the last two cycles, to no avail. Now they are done. If the GOP is going to continue to tack even further left (with their own proposal for an amnesty), it’s going to be like rubbing salt in a wound that has not healed yet. Not many are truly over the loss of this election. Now to tell them (and me), that we must quickly embrace another amnesty, will only unleash the hounds from hell. In other words….this is really crappy timing to try to get anyone to even listen, no less accept this way of thinking. Conservatives may fight it again, or…if the party just rams it down everyone’s throat, I honestly think many will just walk away. They will have given up in believing that Republicans can truly represent them. I just see all this as being very risky as far as the base is concerned. We have been forced to accept, over the last four years, policies and procedures from this administration that have not been at all helpful, to put it mildly. Now we have another four years of the same or worse in front of us. And if the GOP is going to force even more of a left wing agenda on their right leaning constituents, I just don’t see ending well.

I’m not sure why I’m even going on and on about this…so I will stop. But I will do as I said I would, and try to understand more about our immigration laws… so I can perhaps see the merits in your point of view.

lynncgb on November 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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