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Immigration Reform 2013: Republican Dreamer Legalization Initiative Falls Apart

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Supporters of immigration reform rally in Jersey City on April 6. Reuters

An immigration reform initiative pushed forward by members of the GOP has fallen apart after a lack of local and national support. The plan, which recommended legalizing a nubmer of the so-called 'dreamers' was going to be presented in Congress this week, the House's last session of 2013. The bill was put forward by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada), however, it lacked public support within the party. The initiative would have aided a small number of dreamers but left millions of undocumented migrants with no path to citizenship.

Rep. Heck had presented his plan to pro immigration organizations in Nevada to gain support for the plan. The proposal included a path to legalization for young undocumented immigrants who had entered the US before turning 15. However, Heck's hopes for the proposal were dashed after various organizations shunned the plan. "We support the DREAM Act as an idea, but we cannot support this proposal because it would leave too many people out and we still havent's seen the final product," Astrid Silva from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) told Univision.

Rep. Heck's plan recommended that those dreamers who met the plan's prerequisites would avoid deportation and obtain legal status for six years, after which time they could apply for a green card. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has called Heck's support of immigration reform hypocritical: "He can't get things done because he votes with the tea party folks every time," Reid said.

 

 

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Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.

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