Reacting to concerns that Republican candidates are in danger of losing the Hispanic vote in November, several GOP lawmakers have declared their plans to introduce modified versions of the failed DREAM Act, hoping to win votes.
The most recent lawmaker to announce a new proposal is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). While the Senator has not yet filed official language, he expressed that his focus will be on helping young illegal aliens. One suggestion Rubio proffered involves creating a new student visa to allow illegal alien students "to finish their studies until they can apply legally." Sen. Rubio has opposed previous versions of the DREAM Act, including the bill most recently rejected by the Senate in 2010.
The Hill reports that Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison are also working on a separate DREAM Act alternative, but have refused to release any details about their plan until after the Republican nomination is finalized.
In the House, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) has announced plans to introduce the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act, which he intends to file soon. The bill will allow illegal aliens 18 and-a-half or younger, who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, and who have lived in the country for the five previous years, to be granted amnesty if they graduate from a four-year institution.
If passed, the DREAM Act would grant amnesty to illegal aliens who entered the country as children and have met minimal educational requirements. Some versions of the Act would also amend current law to allow states to provide subsidized in-state tuition to illegal aliens.