Achieve Act: GOP Alternative to Deferred Action and DREAM Act

Details have emerged about a newly drafted Republican proposal to address undocumented youth in the United States. It’s called the Achieve Act.

Unlike Obama’s Deferred Action, The Achieve Act would provide a pathway to citizenship. Unlike the DREAM Act, there are four steps that youth would have to take in order to finally become citizens:

  1. An eligible undocumented youth would have six years to get a college degree or serve in the military for four of those years;
  2. After that, he or she would be eligible for a four-year nonimmigrant work visa;
  3. After those four years of work, he or she would be able to apply for a non-conditional permanent nonimmigrant visa, which would be up for renewal after four years;
  4. After 10 years, he or she can work toward getting a green card.

Eligibility would be determined under stipulations somewhat similar to Deferred Action:

  • An applicant must have entered the country before the age of 14;
  • An applicant must be 28 years old or younger at the time of application.
  • An applicant must have lived in the U.S. for five years prior to the Achieve Act’s enactment;
  • An applicant must be of good moral character;
  • An applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor;

Deferred Action only offers a reprieve from deportation. The DREAM Act hasn’t passed in Congress. This early information about the Achieve Act bill is an indication that Republicans are interested in tackling the issue. More details are sure to come.