Legislation that would grant permanent residency to certain children of illegal immigrants is the subject of a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill today.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is taking part in the debate on the so-called DREAM Act.
Grassley, a Republican, says he fears the Obama administration “will circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back door amnesty plan.”
Grassley says, “I’m concerned that we take care of any immigration issues after we have secured the border and stop the sieve that allows people to come to this country illegally.”
DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. Under the proposal, certain undocumented youth and adults would be eligible for a six-year-long conditional path to citizenship if they earn a college degree or serve two years in the military.
Grassley says that’s taking the nation’s priorities out of order.
“We could have the DREAM Act, we could have immigration reform, but if you don’t secure the border, all you’re doing is making the situation worse,” Grassley says. “We have to secure the border and then deal with things like the DREAM Act and with immigration reform.”
Last year, Grassley says he uncovered information and Omaha administration memos that laid out proposals to grant immigration benefits to illegal immigrants.
The DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate in 2001 and was re-introduced this spring. It’s been voted down every time it was introduced.