Jamie Dupree, Atlanta Journal-Gazette, January 10, 2018
As bipartisan negotiations continued on Capitol Hill on a possible legislative deal to shield hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from deportation, Republicans on Wednesday rolled out their own bill, chock full of changes to federal immigration law, including tougher rules for businesses which hire workers who are not legally in the United States.
Weighing in at over 400 pages, the new GOP bill goes well past President Donald Trump’s plan that he floated over the last week, to allow Dreamers to stay in exchange for money to build a border wall, an end to chain migration, and the end of the Diversity Visa lottery program.
The GOP provisions on DACA would not put “Dreamers” on a pathway to U.S. citizenship, but would rather grant them “contingent non-immigrant status,” to allow them to stay legally in the United States.
To be eligible, that younger illegal immigrant had to be in the United States before June 15, 2007, and have been younger than 16 years old at the time of their arrival in the U.S.
Those who apply for that non-immigrant status would have to pay the feds $1,000 and fulfill a series of requirements, ranging from graduation from high school to a lack of serious criminal offenses and more.
As for the President, he made clear again on Wednesday that any effort in Congress to deal with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — DACA — would need to include money for a wall along the border with Mexico.
As for other provisions in the new GOP immigration bill, the plan:
+ Includes a series of reforms to legal immigration
– Reduces the overall level of legal immigration
– Reforms in the H2C temporary farm worker visa program
– Makes visa security reforms
– Interior immigration enforcement
– Punishes so-called “Sanctuary cities”
– Has tougher provisions on Criminal aliens who return to the U.S.
– Asylum reforms
– Changes in law dealing with how unaccompanied children apprehended along the border are dealt with.
The breadth of the GOP plan all but insures that it will draw opposition from Democrats, who favor a bill that only deals with DACA.
[Editor’s Note: Entire GOP bill is available here.]