Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Goodlatte Won't Support Path to Citizenship

From ABC News:

A top Republican congressman working on a bill to address undocumented youth doesn’t believe they should get their own path to citizenship.

Bob Goodlatte (Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is working on a yet-to-be-released bill that would offer legal status to many undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. But his reluctance on citizenship could threaten already-dim hopes of the bill picking up support from Democrats and some Republicans.

Perhaps more importantly, it may prove to be a discouraging sign for the overall reform effort.

“I think there’s a more compelling argument to be made for [undocumented youth],” Goodlatte told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. “But, even for them, I would say that they get a legal status in the United States and not a pathway to citizenship that is created especially for them.”

Republican lawmakers working on the bill haven’t divulged its details, other than to say it would be different than the DREAM Act, a long-stalled proposal to offer a path to citizenship to undocumented young people who attend college or serve in the military.

But the bill has been anticipated as a test of whether there’s an appetite among House Republicans for any pathway to citizenship, even a limited one.

Goodlatte’s comments reveal that his measure may differ in a way that will turn off Democrats and some pro-reform Republicans. Democrats and immigrant-rights advocates have said they will oppose any proposal to legalize undocumented immigrants that blocks many of them from earning full citizenship, arguing it could create a permanent underclass of immigrants.

And around two dozen Republicans in the House have said they could support a bill that allows undocumented immigrants to earn full citizenship, according to immigration activists. That’s given advocates hope that there’s some room in the House to pass a bill that contains a path to citizenship for a broader universe of the undocumented population. Read more...

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