Republican Senator Offers Another Fix for Dreamers

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake last week introduced a bill to provide a 15-year path to citizenship for eligible immigrants who arrived in the country as children. The measure would also fund the first 74 miles of President Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Border Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act would provide Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients or children who have been in the United States continuously since 2012 with conditional resident status for up to 10 years as long as they are pursuing vocational or higher education, enlisted in the military, or are gainfully employed. After meeting specified conditions, those individuals would then be eligible to apply for a green card, according to a press release. The proposed legislation mirrors the bipartisan Recognizing America's Children Act (H.R. 1468).

In September, the Trump administration announced plans to effectively end the DACA program in six months. The Obama-era program serves as a refuge for over 800,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. as infants of children—thousands of whom are now currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country and poised to make positive contributions to our nation and economy.

The deadline for eligible immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to reapply for the DACA program ended last Thursday. Although the Trump administration's decision to end DACA does not take effect until March 5, the program will no longer accept renewal applications.

In advance of and following the announced end of DACA, lawmakers unveiled a flurry of legislative proposals to protect immigrants under the program through legal status or a path to citizenship. While Sen. Flake's measure is not the only proposal to legislate Dreamers out of legal limbo, it is the latest proposal from a border-state Republican.


Related Links

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake's Press Release