Published December 24, 2015
With just a few weeks until the end of the year, Congress has a full plate of legislative issues left to tackle, among them, the controversial DREAM Act proposal. Calling the act "poorly drafted, filled with loopholes" and something that "rewards illegal behavior," Senator Jeff Sessions R-Al., told Fox News on Sunday the U.S. must "confront the massive illegality [occurring] in the immigration process." When asked if its fair to enforce the law on children who were illegally brought into the U.S. by their parents, Sessions said the country needs to find a way to "deal with [all] people entering the country illegally" before attempting to enact legislation such as the DREAM Act. The Act, which seeks to provide provisions for people between the ages of 12 and 35 currently living in the U.S, is especially relevant for illegals living in the U.S. who were brought here as minor children.
Sessions sees the act as an attempt by Democrats to pass legislation during the lame duck session. Politically, the act has proven to be a partisan issue, with many Republicans equating the proposal to "unrestricted amnesty" for illegals. Chief among Sessions' concerns is the type of message the bill would send to illegals, namely that the U.S. has "given up on enforcement of our immigration laws" and furthermore, is seeking to "reward those who illegally enter the country."
As it currently stands, the DREAM Act would allow people who entered the country before the age of 16 to apply for the program and be put on a path towards legal permanent residency. The proposal requires evidence of graduation from a U.S. high school or valid GED equivalent, or proof of acceptance into a U.S. college or university. Applicants would also be required to be of "good moral character."
In addition to the DREAM Act, Congress is expected to take on several other pressing issues, including the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and the START treaty during its upcoming lame duck session.