RACINE, Wisconsin — With immigration reform stalled in the House after passing the Senate in June, House Republicans are mulling an alternative proposal that would allow young undocumented immigrants (DREAMers) to become citizens, but leave their parents at risk of deportation.
Spearheading this idea, known as the KIDS Act, is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). Though they haven’t released details of the legislation yet, it would likely permit DREAMers to get on a pathway to citizenship, but would bar their parents from the same opportunity.
ThinkProgress spoke with a number of DREAMers after a Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) town hall on Friday about the proposal. All lambasted the bill, dismissing it as a cynical ploy designed to undermine real reform. Jessy Lopez, a DREAMer who came with her parents to the United States when she was two years old, said the idea was “messed up” and worried that without a broad pathway to citizenship her parents could die before realizing their dream of becoming citizens. Fellow DREAMer Erika Sanchez, who will be a freshman at the Milwaukee School of Engineering this year, agreed, noting that their parents sacrificed so much already to give them a better life.
Watch our interview with two of them:
Though House Republicans may have hoped such a proposal would splinter the immigration reform movement and pit one group of immigrants against another, even DREAMers — who would personally benefit from the KIDS Act — are strongly opposing the move. After all, is citizenship worth it if it means your parents will be deported?