Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said the appeal forces opponents of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act to "look at these young people and explain why you wouldn't give them this chance," Roll Call reported Wednesday.
The legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for children of some undocumented immigrants likely won't be considered during this Congress.
"It is a political issue because there are more and more minority voters and many of them have children and relatives who are affected by this," Durbin said. "From that perspective, some Republicans have told me privately that they think the Republican position on immigration is deadly for their future."
Republicans have been supporting legislation being crafted by Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Senate Minority Whip. Kyl told Roll Call he was unsure whether the measure would be unveiled this year.
Among other things, the DREAM Act "creates citizenship and permits a person who was here illegally to immediately turn around and petition for the people who brought them here illegally to become U.S. citizens. That's not right," Kyl said.
The White House last month announced a new policy that would allow people brought to the United States as children younger than 16, who do not present a risk to national security or public safety and who meet other key criteria to "be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings."
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