Three Republican senators proposed a bill Sept. 25 that would create a pathway for children brought to the U.S. illegally to obtain green cards.
Sens. James Lankford, Thom Tillis and Orrin Hatch are behind the measure, which they have dubbed the SUCCESS Act, according to The Hill.
The bill represents the GOP's answer to the DREAM Act, which is supported by Democrats.
"The DREAM Act has been floating around for a decade," said Lankford, The Hill reported. "We don't believe the DREAM Act is a conservative solution to how to be able to resolve this, but we also don't want to leave this question unanswered."
President Donald Trump announced in early September that he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump allowed a six-month delay for Congress to come up with an alternative before DACA expires.
Tillis, Hatch and Lankford stated they hoped Democrats would get on board with their proposal.
"This act is about the children," Tillis added. "It's completely merit-based. It ensures fairness. There's no skipping in line."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin commented Sept. 19 that Democrats in Congress might be ready to compromise. He proposed tying a replacement program for DACA to tighter border security.
"It is naive for us to believe we would get 12 Republicans to vote for DACA or DREAM Act without putting something on the table," Durbin said.
Durbin's comments came days after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared on Sept. 14 their readiness to attach border security measures to a renewal of DACA. However, they said the details still have to be negotiated.
However, some of the measures proposed by Tillis, Hatch and Lankford are likely to be difficult for liberals to accept. The proposed legislation would require people to register for "conditional permanent residence," which would have to be renewed after a period of five years. During that time, a person would have to be continuously employed, serve in the military or obtain a college degree for three years, in order to show that they "are a productive, law-abiding member of society."
The measure would not allow undocumented immigrants applying for a green card to have their family members come to the U.S. with them.
"This bill, I believe, is a fair and orderly method to providing a … solution for the DACA children," added Tillis.
The Hill noted that conservatives who see the SUCCESS Act as offering amnesty to undocumented immigrants may also have objections to the GOP bill.
"We think that it's a balanced resolution to a vexing problem … and we'll have to take the hits," he added.
Sources: The Hill(2) / Featured Image: Mark Taylor/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: The White House/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, United States Congress/tillis.senate.gov via Wikimedia Commons