As we continue to wait on Congress to return from their summer recess and focus on the immigration bill at hand, it is important to look at some of the specific details that might be put into any immigration legislation. As stated in earlier posts, in order to gain Republican approval for any immigration reform, analysts have suggested that the bill must be attacked piece by piece. One of those pieces that will be very important in the voting process is an alternative to the DREAM Act, potentially called the KIDS Act and drafted by Republicans.
The KIDS Act would be another attempt to provide a legal path to citizenship to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. The Act is being proposed by House Republicans, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. The legislation is very similar to the DREAM Act, which has not had success passing through Congress, however, there would be stricter requirements to adhere to Republican demands.
One of those requirements would be a younger age limit than what the DREAM Act has stated in the past. The idea would be that younger children have been integrated into the U.S. educational system at an earlier age, and therefore have a better understanding of the English language as an adult. Another factor that might be considered is whether the individual has avoided legal trouble while growing up, and what other positive factors have resulted in their lives in America.
Republican leaders have consistently voted against the DREAM Act in the past, so the fact that they are drafting their own narrowed version of this immigration reform idea is another sign that House approval might happen this fall. Democrats might not agree that the proposal is comprehensive enough, but any progress is positive. Both sides want to avoid another illegal wave of immigration, all while protecting each political party’s agendas. We will continue to keep you updated as this important legislation continues.