After years of pushing for the DREAM Act, it seems that the Republican Party is finally listening. According to an article in VOXXI, word has leaked out about a new proposal from the Republican party called the “ACHIEVE Act.” The Republican party has been drafting this alternative to the DREAM Act for the past year.
However, DREAM Act Advocates have a few issues with this new proposal, the largest being its lack of a direct path to citizenship. The DREAM Act is a direct path to citizenship; a six year process citizenship process for eligible students who wish to further their education in college or serve in the military.
The ACHIEVE Act involves many more steps that wouldn’t necessarily guarantee citizenship in the end. First, undocumented immigrant youth can apply for a W-1 Visa, which allows them to attend college or universities. However, “certain applicants will not be eligible to apply for public welfare benefits and they can not access federal student loans, work study, or other benefits or services under the Higher Education Act.” After four years, students must then apply for a W-2 Visa, also known as a work Visa. The final step, a W-3 Visa, is a step for permanent residency.
In my opinion, although it’s great to see that Republicans are stepping on board for immigration reform, the ACHIEVE Act is simply not enough. DREAMers have waited long enough for the DREAM Act, a direct pathway to citizenship. These students have grown up in the United States, and love this country as much as any U.S. citizen. Denying them an education, or “tip-toeing” around the real need to give these students a future in this country, is simply not okay.
What do you think about the Republican’s Proposal?