By Henry Decker

Republican DREAM Act Alternative Falls Flat

November 29, 2012 12:55 pm Category: Memo Pad 15 Comments A+ / A-

After President Barack Obama dominated Mitt Romney among Latino voters in the 2012 election, winning the fast-growing demographic by a massive 71- to 27-percent margin, Republicans are finally acknowledging that they have a serious problem among Latinos. Romney and the GOP seemed to go out of their way to drive these voters away during the campaign, promising to use Arizona’s controversial “show me your papers” law as a national model, end bilingual education, and veto the DREAM Act, among other far-right positions that ended up costing them on Election Day.

In an effort to mitigate the damage, retiring Republican senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas have introduced the “ACHIEVE Act.” The bill is designed to be an alternative to the popular DREAM Act, which would provide residency and an eventual path to citizenship to certain immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and complete a four-year college education or two years of military service.

The ACHIEVE Act would allow those who arrived in the United States before the age of 14 to obtain visas that would provide them with legal residency after completing schooling or military service — but, crucially, would not provide any path to citizenship. For many Hispanic leaders, this is a deal-breaker.

At a Wednesday press conference, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus slammed Kyl and Hutchison’s bill. “The problem with the ACHIEVE Act is it does not achieve the dream,” said New Jersey senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) concurred, saying the proposal was “too little, too late.”

When confronted about his bill’s lack of a path to citizenship, Kyl dismissed the complaints by claiming that young immigrants could marry their way into citizenship:

“Realistically, young people frequently get married. In this country, the biggest marriage pool are U.S. citizens. A U.S. citizen can petition for a spouse to become a citizen in a very short time,” Kyl claimed. “I don’t think it’s any big secret that a lot of people who might participate in this program are going to have a very quick path to citizenship, if that’s the path they choose.”

In addition to being factually incorrect, Kyl’s “solution” is unlikely to improve the perception that his party is not sympathetic to the concerns of the Latino community.

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Republican DREAM Act Alternative Falls Flat Reviewed by on . After President Barack Obama dominated Mitt Romney among Latino voters in the 2012 election, winning the fast-growing demographic by a massive 71- to 27-percent After President Barack Obama dominated Mitt Romney among Latino voters in the 2012 election, winning the fast-growing demographic by a massive 71- to 27-percent Rating:

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Comments

  • computed

    Dream act today, a Nightmare act, when the tide changes, and this temporary do nothing puts the recipients on the wrong side of legal immigration. They’ll be deported after (undetermined amount of time.).
    This should be called the Zombie Limbo act. Purgatory act, or even temporary happy, happy fun time act.
    But there’s nothing in this legislation that any intelligent illegal alien with half a brain should be cheering about. Unless getting a good free American education, with the intention of going home when they are through, is their intention. But then that wouldn’t be very smart of us as American people passing over suitable would be American citizens for scholarships and placement in universities, for illegal immigrants. only to have that brain-pool leave the country. It’s yet another gross misappropriation of American resources by this Administration.

    The Dream act indeed, anyone think the name is Ironic or an accident? I surely don’t.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    The GOP idea sounds very much like being just a little bit pregnant. They want the folks to jump through hopes, but hold back the prize. If that is the case why would anyone get on board with their program? Those young people who are living in the country today consider themselves to be American. Being raised here, going to school, graduating and some being in the military is a good thing. They grew up in this country…not Mexico or Chile or whatever. Their parents have strong family ties, but the kids are grounded in this country. They should not be punished due to something that their parents decided to do when the children were too small to have a say. The Republicans should either back the Dream Act or just stop pretending they have a plan.

  • doodlebug0

    Kyl absolutely embarrasses me. I couldn’t be happier that we only have weeks until we never hear from him again (although his successor is just as bad.) I hit the big three in this state, Kyl, McCain and Brewer. They lead the prejudiced, bigoted people in this state.

  • Jim Lou

    You will see more marriages of convenience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    The so called Achieve Act is nothing more than a cynical attempt to ensure U.S. employers, especially the agri-business, hospitality, construction and garment sectors, continue to benefit from cheap labor without granting people who have grown up and were educated in the USA the right to become citizens. In addition to politics, this latest attempt to attract Hispanic/Latino voters without giving them anything in return, it also an acknowledges the need to keep migrant workers undocumented to ensure they do not enjoy the same protections other workers have. The minimum wage does not apply to farm hands, and in the case of undocumented workers they don’t even earn the $3.50 an hour that is the norm. The main beneficiaries are the employers who profit from this circumstance, and consumers who benefit from the cheap labor of pseudo slaves, and the resultant low inflation.
    Children who came to the U.S. before the age of 14, speak English, were educated in the USA, have not committed any crimes, and especially those who are serving or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces should be eligible for citizenship. This is the United States of America, a nation of immigrants, not Stalinist Russia, the Third Reich or South Africa in the Apartheid era.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    Where do the “Conservatives” find these morons?

    • AMADAL

      Under rocks!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.s.dunn.7 Christopher S. Dunn

    The answer is clearly not in the ACHIEVE plan. Neither is it really in the DREAM act. If I had to choose one over the other, though, the DREAM act would be the choice.

    The real issue is this: Fundamental and intelligent changes need to be made to our entire Immigration Policy. It would be better to dispose of the monied interests building “Deportation Centers” (this is a euphemism to a concentration camp) by for profit corporations that are going to be run by, for and because of profit motivated corporate concerns — all in the name of protecting our borders and our nation from illegal immigration. These are the same corporations who are now running for profit prisons across the nation.

    Here’s the real problem, people: You cannot run the government like a business. Business is not democratic. The employee has absolutely no say in the policies and practices of that business and if the business decides you need to go for the sake of profit — you’re gone. Government cannot be run this way — at least not in a democratically oriented state. Government does not exist to make a profit.

    Illegal immigration is, perhaps, a problem, but it is more a problem of perception than it is of criminality. Treating immigrants, either legal or illegal, shouldn’t be a for profit concern and neither should it be so dehumanizing that large centers that function and act exactly like Prisons require being built. We should offer a path to legal status, even for currently living illegal immigrants, that allows them to be incepted and accepted into our culture, our society and our nation.

    I don’t think a “free pass” is the idea, here. The idea here is that, at one point in time, everyone that came here had to struggle to survive and thrive here in a land where the outside looking perception is that this is a land of opportunity. It might still be. Even so, our Constitution and our country is predicated on the ideal that All Men Are Created Equal. If an immigrant, legal or otherwise, can get a social security number, get a decent paying job and pay for their living here, then really what’s the problem? They’ll be paying taxes, they’ll be paying into the system. Somewhere along the way, the children born to these people should have a path to citizenship out of the ideal of equality and from the pragmatic principle that paying into a system should absolve them of any “illegality” of their living here — thus, providing a path to citizenship, both in standing and in legal documentation makes more sense than placing them in large, for-profit detention centers (paid for by our tax revenues, mind you, that’s how these for-profit centers get paid) prior to them being deported out of the country.

    All the deportation processes in place today cost the taxpayer and the government money out of the federal coffers. Isn’t it more pragmatic to find a way to integrate these people into the country, into the wage earners that pay into the system and have them help build the country, instead of letting some corporate mogul profit from displacing them, placing them in what are effectively prison camps, then costing us, the taxpayer even more by deporting them to some other country? All those things cost us, the taxpayer. In doing this, it also displaces workers, many of whom were paying taxes and helping build our economy by working jobs that many citizens who were already born here simply won’t do, no matter how bad their conditions become, because these jobs are ‘beneath’ them.

    We need no DREAM acts and we certainly can’t use an ACHIEVE act to achieve the American Dream. We need to be pragmatic, responsible and realistic. If illegal immigrants pose a true hazard (like they are felony criminals from another country) then deportation or incarceration makes sense. If they are paying non-citizens, employed and working, then really, where’s the harm? Stealing American jobs? Look to your local American Business that is outsourcing your jobs to China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and other countries and you’ll find the real job thieves. All for a profit you won’t ever see.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

      The long term solution to this problem involves a lot more than amnesty, it requires drastic changes to our immigration laws. Our laws currently favor the entry of foreign professionals, using the H1b visa system, needed to satisfy demand in high tech and hard science industries. We simply don’t have enough medical doctors, biomedical engineers, mathematicians, physicists or chemists to satisfy demand. That leaves two unpalatable options for our industry, attract foreign professionals to come and work in the USA, or move some of our most lucrative businesses overseas.
      While the problem – and solution – for the issue mentioned above is understandable, our laws ignore the need for unskilled workers to satisfy demand in the agri-business, hospitality, and garment industries. Without the possibility of getting a visa to enter the USA legally, tens of thousands of unskilled migrant workers risk everything they have – including their lives – to come to the USA to get a job from eager employers who benefit from cheap labor.
      Efforts to attract unemployed Americans to work the land have failed, largely because compensation is so low and the work is so hard that most Americans prefer to collect an unemployment check than break their backs to earn $3 an hour or a few pennies per bushel. The reasons our politicians are reluctant to change our immigration laws to allow unskilled workers to enter the USA legally is because doing so would make them legal residents eligible for the protection of existing laws. The effect of that is two fold, it would affect the bottom line for the business sectors that benefit from cheap foreign labor, and it would cause inflation to go up substantially. That is why neither party is serious to solve this problem and proose solutions that, in effect, try to contain a hemorrage with a bandaid.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    Stupid, racest, this should cover the facts.

  • SeekingOut

    I don’t know why you are performing a critique of their plans and pointing out the weaknesses. I say, if that’s what they wish to propose, if they underestimate the magnitude of their problem with the various demographic groups, then let them! This will serve to strengthen the DEM position next time around.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

    It takes as long to become a US citizen if you marry one as it does if you aren’t married to an American citizen and cost as much money as it does an unmarried person to become a citizen. Do any of the Republicans in Congress even have know what it takes to become an American citizen? Have any of them taken citizenship classes and checked to see what it cost to become an American citizen today? People that are here legally and are working on becoming American citizens have to pay out a great deal of money to become American citizens and that includes ones that marry US citizens. Were all the Republicans in Congress dropped on the heads as children and have never recovered from their head injuries?

  • daves

    I thought the republican plan was a pretty decent compromise. The only difference is that these kids have to wait 5 years before becoming citizens.

  • http://twitter.com/LostAnarchist S-3

    What’s the right comment for this usual failure of the Fuckicunts? Oh yeah: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • Leftcoastrocky

    it is a loser and a non-starter (and an insult) from the get-go

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