Lame duck U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas, is weighing whether to introduce the Achieve Act, her own version of the Dream Act she helped defeat by six votes in 2010.
“It would be too early to comment on this as there is no proposal yet,” said Tom Flanagin, Hutchison’s deputy press secretary. “It’s possible that this issue may be raised in the lame duck session but that is not yet known.”
However, Juan Roberto Gonzalez, a local immigration attorney, said from what he knows, unlike the still-pending Dream Act, Hutchison’s version would not provide a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.
“The right does not want that path,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not amnesty. They would have to meet certain requirements.”
Gonzalez also said Hutchison does not include military service as a way to expedite the citizenship process after one year.
Hutchison’s staff would not yet confirm other aspects of the Achieve Act, such as the granting of four-year renewable visas, never being eligible for welfare payments and food stamps, and at least five years of residency.
Gonzalez said he doubts Hutchison’s successor, Senator-elect Ted Cruz, would pick up the bill, but perhaps more moderate Republicans would.
He calls the move an effort to pander to the 70 per cent of the Hispanic vote that cost the Republicans the presidential election.
But instead of another version, Gonzalez said what’s needed is the six votes that narrowly defeated the prior Dream Act two years ago.
He said it could be the lame duck Congress will vote on it again.
“They’re not going to get re-elected, so vote for the Dream Act and get it passed,” Gonzalez said.