(Washington, D.C. November 28, 2012) The ACHIEVE Act, a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, introduced Tuesday in the Senate, would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while doing nothing to rectify the conditions that have led to mass illegal immigration, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). While the process for gaining legalization under the ACHIEVE Act differs somewhat from the DREAM Act, the end results are identical: amnesty for people who are here illegally and new incentives for even greater illegal immigration in the future.
"The American public has consistently opposed amnesty legislation because it rewards those who broke our laws, encourages more people to do the same, while imposing hardships on law-abiding citizens," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "The inevitable response to this legislation will be for millions more people to bring or send their children to the U.S. illegally in the expectation that this country will feel the same obligation to grant them amnesty after a few years. Even since President Obama has begun implementation of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) there has been a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to gain entry to the U.S.
"At the same time, millions of illegal aliens who might be legalized under the ACHIEVE Act would immediately be eligible to compete with Americans who are seeking educational opportunities and jobs. Those hurt the most — younger Americans — are already struggling gain a foothold in a very tenuous economy," Stein added.
Notably, the ACHIEVE Act is an amnesty-only bill that includes no provisions to strengthen enforcement of U.S. immigration laws or deter future illegal immigration. The legislation does not enhance border security, improve immigration enforcement in the workplace, or place any checks on the president’s claim of unlimited discretionary authority not to enforce many immigration laws. "In the end, the ACHIEVE Act asks the American people to sacrifice jobs, educational opportunities, and the rule of law without even the promise that the government will try to enforce our immigration laws moving forward," Stein said.
Tellingly, two of the three senators who are sponsoring the ACHIEVE Act, Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), are lame ducks who are no longer accountable to their constituents or the American people. "It is remarkable that both parties now feel the need to show ‘good faith’ with the people who have broken our laws, without so much as a gesture of concern for the interests of the American people. In the final analysis, the ACHIEVE Act will not enjoy the support of the American public, nor is it likely to satisfy the political demands of the illegal alien lobby," concluded Stein.
Kristen Williamson (202) 328-7004, firstname.lastname@example.org