POSTED: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 1:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 1:46pm
Retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and retiring Sen. Jon Kyl introduced a bill today that would allow some undocumented young people to gain legal status, although they admitted that it's unlikely they'll be able to shepherd its passage through Congress while they remain in the Senate.
The bill called the “Achieve Act", creates three new visa categories that would let younger illegal immigrants attain legal status, avoiding the threat of deportation and allowing them to stay in the country while they study or work but it is different from the controversial dream act, which failed to pass the Senate in 2010.
Hutchison describes one key change.
"If they decide they want a green card or they want to get into the citizenship track, they can do that under today's law. There is no change in the requirements. They will not get in front of the line. They will get in back of the line. They're not kept from getting that citizenship track, nor are they given a preference in that citizenship track."
The bill proposes putting a special visa system in place for young people who want to go to college or serve in the military.
Under the legislation, only people who entered the country before the age of 14 could apply to the program.
They would have to have knowledge of the english language and american history. Felons and people with more than one misdemeanor would not be legible.