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Illegal Immigration

Will Dreamers Get Citizenship Path from Congress?

Written by Joe Scudder

Donald Trump is supposedly not against a way that will let dreamers get citizenship, and Congress might provide one.

If Dreamers get citizenship, many Trump voters might view it as a betrayal. But expelling DACA residents might be politically damaging to the President.

Republicans in Congress want to help the President on this issue. Reportedly, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) is working on legislation that would end the executive amnesty given by Barack Obama and replace it with a legal framework that wouldn’t require deportations.

McClatchy reports, “N.C. senator tosses Trump a conservative life raft for Dreamers.

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.

“It really is the conservative dreamer bill,” said a congressional source familiar with the plan.

A spokesman for Tillis, Daniel Keylin, confirmed that the North Carolina Senators is working with Republican colleagues on “fair, but rigorous” legislation that will address “the long-term uncertainty facing undocumented minors.”

“Regardless of the policy itself, DACA is an executive overreach that sets immigration policy through executive order instead of the proper channel – Congress,” Keylin said. “It’s highly unlikely that DACA will survive a legal challenge, and it’s the responsibility of Congress, not the President, to offer a long-term legislative fix.”

I’m sure there are some good intentions in the legislation, but why the date of 2012? Obviously, because if they keep making allowances for DACA children, residents of other countries will have an incentive to break the law and get their children citizenship. There’s no point in having a legal system of immigration and citizenship if people can bypass it to gain those things.

But that points to the flaw in the whole idea. If the government isn’t willing to deport now, why would anyone expect them to do so later?

Read the entire McClatchy article.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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