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GOP Unveils "Conservative Dream Act"

by Countable | 9.29.17

What’s the story?

Republican Sens. Tom Tillis (NC), James Lankford (OK), and Orrin Hatch (UT) have answered President Trump’s call for a Congressional fix to DACA.

The SUCCEED Act (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers Employment Education and Defending our nation) would provide a "fair and compassionate" merit-based solution to the thousands of young undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S.

The bill – which, according to Lankford, is not "amnesty" – would limit who can remain in the country based on their work experience, military service, and years of American education.

Unlike previous versions of Dreamers legislation, SUCCEED wouldn’t allow green-card holders to petition for close relatives (like spouses or children) to obtain permanent residency.

Why does it matter?

Tillis tweeted on Monday that:

The #SUCCEEDAct is based on four core principles: Compassion. Merit. Prevention. Fairness.

To be eligible for the SUCCEED Act, the immigrant must have been in the U.S. before the age of 16 on or before June 15, 2012 (the start of DACA). They’d also be required to pass a "rigorous" criminal background check, submit biometric data to the Department of Homeland Security, and pay off any back taxes or establish a repayment plan.

At a news conference on Monday, Tillis acknowledged there’s going to be resistance on both sides:

"We’ll have to take the hits," Tillis said. “We’ll take the hits on the far left for saying you’re not getting them to citizenship soon enough, and you’ll take it on the far right for saying you’ve ever given them an opportunity to pursue citizenship.”

The hits have already started. Frank Sharry, of immigration advocacy group America’s Voice, argued many of SUCCEED’s provisions were "disturbing."

"None of these provisions are applied to other groups of admitted immigrants," Sharry said in a statement. “Why, then, does this bill send this group of young Americans to the back of the bus?”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) shared similar sentiments in a statement.

"In contrast to the bipartisan Dream Act, their bill excludes tens of thousands of Dreamers who came to the United States as children, have lived here for decades, and have clean criminal records, based solely on arbitrary date cutoffs," Durbin said.

House Democrats recently introduced a discharge petition to bring the DREAM Act to the floor. (Hatch was a co-author on the original DREAM Act in 2001 with Durbin).

Despite pushback from various groups, Lankford said President Trump supports much of the SUCCEED Act.

"The president was very outspoken when I walked him through the details of it. He said that’s exactly the kind of solution that I think would work and would be a good option to be able to accomplish."

What do you think?

Is the SUCCEED Act "the kind of solution" you think would work? Or do you also find many of the bill’s provisions “disturbing”? Hit the Take Action button and tell your reps how to vote, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: BeeBright / iStockphoto)

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(78)
  • Ross
    09/26/2017
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    The dream act, as put in place by President Obama, should be made law.

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  • Andy1
    09/26/2017
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    The Conservative action for childhood arrivals or "CACA" act is yet another doomed to fail action to try to fix a problem that would not have existed if trump was not elected

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  • Ticktock
    09/26/2017
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    No. Regardless of these people’s current or past these people are American even if they aren’t US citizens. We need to accept them as they are. We made them. They’re our responsibility. For a change we need to live up to the high ideals and standards we claim to have. If we can’t do that then we need to admit to our selves that we are just run of the mill, mediocre or less.

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  • Vanessa
    09/27/2017
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    Until the undocumented have an approved route to follow to get to citizenship, they will continue to be pawns in the political game. Come up with a bi-partisan plan, pass it, and then find something else to campaign on. These kids have been through enough...,

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  • Melissa
    09/27/2017
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    Submit biometrics? Will they have to wear armbands as well? Individuals, undocumented or not, who have not been convicted of a crime, should not have their privacy invaded in this way. Slippery slope, anyone?

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    09/26/2017
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    The Conservative Dream Act is not a Dream at all. It is just lipstick on a pig, similar to how Conservatives put "American" into everything they propose or manufacture. Much of it is non-American, just like Conservatism. Conservatives in America are nothing more than Taliban, ISIS or other terrorist groups, just without the beards and add a couple hundred pounds, and a different brand of religious hatred commercialized everywhere and in everything they do. Just like Republicans will not continue to go to their drug dealer if their dealer does not have the product or the product they prefer, these immigrants are only in the USA, because greedy, corrupt, unethical, immoral republicans hire them without benefits and off the books, for personal profits. Then they tell the immigrants to call their families and friends and bring them over and they too will have a job, if they can make it over. This is why immigrants are willing to risk their lives and their family's lives. If there was no opportunities (like drugs), these immigrants would not be here in the masses. We should be going after the Businesses that hire them, and encourage them to come here and charge each criminal business with huge fines of about 10% of their annual revenue for each offense. If the business goes bankrupt because of it, then another ethical business will replace it. Let's not penalize the victims. This is a white collar crime committed by greedy politicians and unethical business owners.

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  • Luke
    09/26/2017
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    Yes, any immigration policy based on merit is a good one.

    Like (10)
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  • Marcia
    09/27/2017
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    DACA doesn't need a fix! The original Dream Act needs to be passed as is. It was a bipartisan act and should get bipartisan support! These young people are Americans in every sense of the word. Where is the compassion in this Congress? Show us that you are not a bunch of rich donor, paid stooges. Show us that you are servants of the people and vote for the original Dream Act.

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  • Dave
    09/27/2017
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    Submit biometrics, then maybe we should tattoo them, wear armbands, Star of David on their forehead, have them pay off the national debt, build the stupid wall but on the Canada side, serve in the military for 50 years and after that 50 year probation. Just got to love the GOP, republican, conservatives, KKK, neo nazi, white supremacist, white nationalist and religious red neck, Couldn't happen to a better hate group!

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  • RadicalModerate
    09/26/2017
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    This is very un-American. The true patriots are beginning to stir impatiently, while the tyrants chew there nails.

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  • Peter
    09/26/2017
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    He original dream act had no path to citizenship, just a limbo of living and working here but never belonging. This act will actually let those brought here as children become full voting Americans eventually. The only requirements, work, learn be a good person. That’s not that much to ask for citizenship. The dream act was only a feel-good order because at the end of they day they would never be Americans, this is a real solution for real people, real Americans (eventually). I’m impressed.

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  • TheBlackArrows
    09/26/2017
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    This seems, on its face a good middle ground.

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  • Azrael
    09/27/2017
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    Don’t trust this congress What’s the catch? What’s in it for them?

    Like (3)
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  • RadicalModerate
    09/26/2017
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    Bring us your tired, your poor, etc...

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  • Billy
    09/26/2017
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    The DREAM Act should definitely become law. But if Republicans get in the way of that then this bill is an alright alternative. It won't offer all of the protections of the DREAM act but at least it is some form of immigration reform.

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  • Mdbarber
    09/27/2017
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    I’m especially bothered by two aspects of this: the extensive criminal background check and the biometrics. If these young people are already enrolled in DACA their criminal records are already in the record. That should be sufficient. If other immigrant groups are not subject to biometrics, these immigrants shouldn’t be either. For goodness sake they’ve been living here, going to school here and working here for years. Let’s let them become citizens the same way others can and do.

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  • Keith
    09/27/2017
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    The SUCCEED act is a great bipartisan solution that awards citizenship based on merit without straining social programs. It would weed out the bad and keep the good. Please vote YES!

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  • Dennis
    09/27/2017
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    on Numbers USA Gumballs, The guy explains it so even the left can understand

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  • Jeffrey
    09/27/2017
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    DACA was never a viable immigration policy. No other nation is insane enough to think it would do anything but encourage illegal immigration. We are a nation of legal immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. By the law, all illegal immigrants should be deported. This is a one time dispensation for illegal immigrant children. This is the compromise between the law and the Democrat "amnisty for all" insanity.

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  • Angela
    09/27/2017
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    I believe this fix to DACA is a good one. It's not amnesty, but it does help with those who have assimilated into our country. They didn't, at the time, have any control over what their parents did, so that's what makes this decision hard. It's because our government should have had better immigration policies. How can we say truthfully it was working when people were coming here illegally and living here illegally? Working here illegally? And then went as far as bringing their children here illegally? Our government has let our Country and people down. But I do believe this would solve the problem we are having with this situation. And our government really needs to knuckle down and make sure this is done and done right.

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