Last week, we brought you news of the plans of certain Republican Senators to introduce an alternative to the DREAM Act. Today, Senators Hutchinson (R-TX), Kyl (R-AZ) and McCain (R-AZ) introduced the ACHIEVE Act. The Senators held a press announcement to describe their new bill. They described it as the product of a year of work. Mercifully, there appears to have been some pressure to end their work and put forward a bill as, if they had continued to work, the bill and the process they propose would have become even more cumbersome than the three step process they have outlined.
In last week’s blog, we went over the ACHIEVE Act in detail. It is far more restrictive than the DREAM Act, open to far fewer people than DACA and a monument to bureaucratic obligation and inefficiency. Yet, there is something very revealing about the ACHIEVE Act. All three sponsors of the ACHIEVE Act voted against the DREAM Act in 2010. Its introduction in this lame duck session shows just how much the ground has shifted on immigration since the election. The Democrats should seize the initiative and bring forward the DREAM Act and let the debate begin. The ground has shifted and the Republicans are playing defense on this issue right now. Now, in the lame duck session, is the time to get DREAM done, as the preface to bigger reform in the next Congress.