'Watered-down' version'of Dream Act could go up for vote

'Watered-down' version'of Dream Act could go up for vote

'Watered-down' version'of Dream Act could go up for vote

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by Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 9:11 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- An alternative to the Dream Act may be in the works. There's talk among Republicans about a "refined" version of the legislation.

It's called the Achieve Act, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and two other Republicans are said to be behind the measure.

It's a piece of legislation that has long divided Republicans and Democrats.

"We've been accused of being anti-Hispanic and all because we didn't support all provisions of the Dream Act," said Steve Heinrich with the Republican Party of Bexar County.

First introduced in 2011, the Dream Act would essentially grant undocumented, good standing students a pathway toward citizenship.

"There were a few sticky points that we weren't able to agree on and that's why it never went any further," said Heinrich.

But now the alternative Achieve Act,  is said to be in the works.

"We refer to it as the watered-down version of the Dream Act," said William Wise with the San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement.

Under the Achieve Act illegal students would have to earn their college degree or serve in the military for four years. They would then get a four-year work visa and essentially be able to apply for a permanent visa.

"There's no pathway toward citizenship for those who are eligible," said Wise.

Critics said the Achieve Act works against what they've been fighting for. As for Republicans, they said some common ground needs to be found soon.

"I think we kind of need to wait and see if that transpires and see what bill is actually introduced," said Heinrich.

Sen. Hutchison's office would not confirm if in fact she will be introducing the Achieve Act legislation.

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