What The GOP Version Of The Dream Act Looks Like, So Far

Nov 20, 2012

Marco Rubio leaks some details about the GOP's immigration plans.
Credit Geoff Holtzman /Flickr

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, gave reporters some details about what the GOP version of the Dream Act might look like recently.

The Republican Party, along with Rubio, has been working on its own version of the Dream Act, a proposed law that would give young people a path to citizenship. Until now, there has been very little information about what might Rubio had in mind.

Rubio says that, so far, the proposal mirrors something called the ACHIEVE Act, which is limited to immigrants who are college educated or have served in the military. Under this law, immigrants would be granted a W-1 visa. The Dream Act, by comparison,  would grant immigrants amnesty.

According to The Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald,

The plan calls for W-1 visas for people who attend college or serve in the military. They must have lived in the U.S. for five years and entered before age 14 and be younger than 28 (or 32 if they have a bachelor's degree already). The visa holders would have to check in every six months with the Department of Homeland Security, could not get "public welfare benefits" or federal student loan or work study.

If completing that, a person could get a W-2 visa, a four-year permit to work or seek a higher degree. When that expires, they could apply for the permanent nonimmigrant visa.

The Huffington Post reports that the Dream Act and the ACHIEVE Act also have some similarities. According to the Post, "both plans require an immigrant to show good moral character, maintain a felony-free criminal record, and live in the U.S. for five consecutive years before the bill's enactment -- assuring foreign nationals will not enter the country now simply to apply."

Rubio's office has told news outlets that this is a working draft and he has been working on a proposed law over the summer.