Republicans float their own version of DREAM Act on Capitol Hill

 Congressman Xavier Becerra (R) discusses Dream Act policy with the Hispanic Council last year. Now Republicans have gotten in on the action, announcing their own version of the controversial bill on Thursday.
Congressman Xavier Becerra (R) discusses Dream Act policy with the Hispanic Council last year. Now Republicans have gotten in on the action, announcing their own version of the controversial bill on Thursday. Kitty Felde/KPCC

A political battle over dueling DREAM Acts has begun on Capitol Hill.

One bill manned by Democrats offers a path to citizenship for students who entered the US illegally, when they were children. But Republicans are now floating their own version, one with a big name behind it.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is currently constructing his own DREAM Act, in which undocumented students would qualify only for temporary visas with the possibility of permanent status.

Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles rejects that.

"If there will be a bill that passes in the Congress, it must be a real DREAM Act," he says, "not an act without the dream."

It’s highly unlikely that any DREAM Act legislation will be voted on before the November election. But undocumented students say they’ll be knocking on doors and taking to online media to persuade Latino citizens to vote for candidates who support immigration reform.

Marco Rubio is considered by many to be on the short list for the GOP's vice presidential nomination, though he says he doesn’t want it.

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