Menu

Politics

Senate

Republicans mull own version of DREAM Act, vote on ACHIEVE Act by January

rubiostory.jpg

FILE: Nov. 17, 2012: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's annual birthday fundraiser in Altoona, Iowa.AP

After taking a beating with Hispanic voters in the 2012 election, some Republican lawmakers are floating a conservative alternative to President Obama’s DREAM Act.

Supporter of the Republican ACHIEVE Act say the legislation would legalize the status of children brought to this country by their parents as illegal immigrants by giving them visas.

Then after being productive people earning degrees, working or serving in the military, they could eventually become citizens.

The key difference is the Republican plan does not allow the young people to jump ahead of those who would like to legally come to the United States.

"I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to go and a perfectly conservative argument to help specific targeted individuals in this case," the Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding told Fox News.

Congressional sources say retiring Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas, and Jon Kyl, of Arizona, were working on the plan with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, but it was put on hold after Obama in August suspended deportation for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents.

Now with the election over, some Republicans are weighing if the timing is right to attempt to pass their legislation by the end of the year.

Rubio says conservatives must better explain that they are for a legal immigration system that works.

Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.