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Has a Florida representative introduced the DREAM ACT 2.0?

Much of the news coverage on Capitol Hill this week has been understandably focused on the sit-in protests undertaken by House Democrats in an attempt to force a vote on gun control measures.

Lost amid this reporting, however, was the introduction of legislation by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Mike Coffman (R-CO) earlier this week that some were calling a new version of the DREAM Act, the landmark legislation that failed to gain the necessary traction in Congress back in 2010, but parts of which were later enacted via executive order by President Obama.

What is the name of this proposed legislation?       

Curbelo and Coffman named the legislation the "Recognizing American Children Act."

What exactly would it do?

As written, the legislation calls for those people who entered the U.S. illegally prior to January 1, 2010, and were 16-years-old or younger at the time to be provided with a path to citizenship.

What exactly would this entail?

The legislation dictates that those people who fit the aforementioned criteria and have 1) graduated from high school, 2) have no criminal record, and 3) never relied on public assistance to be granted conditional immigration status for five years.

During this five-year period, they would be provided with three different routes through which to pursue citizenship:

  1. Earning a higher-education degree (college, vocational school, etc.)
  2. Serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces, or
  3. Remaining gainfully employed

How has the Recognizing American Children Act been received?

While the legislation is being lauded in some circles for its practical approach, many others have panned the measure as being nothing more than a symbolic gesture designed to help both Curbelo and Coffman secure votes in their respective districts.

By way of support, they point to the fact that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has already indicated that his caucus won't consider any immigration-related votes for the remainder of the year.  

Only time will tell if the Recognizing American Children Act ever has its day on the House floor. Stay tuned for updates.

If you have questions or concerns relating to citizenship, deportation or any other immigration issue, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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