GOP DREAM Act Not Enough For Dreamers

Young immigrants want path to citizenship for parents and themselves.

(Alex Brandon/AP)

DREAMers (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) and parents take an oath in a mock citizenship ceremony during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

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Dreamers, immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, finally have congressional Republicans on their side, pushing for a path to citizenship on their behalf.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., are expected to unveil the Kids Act soon to give Dreamers the same path to citizenship that they voted against in 2010.

The president issued an executive order in 2012 that gave dreamers differed action and allowed those who were in college or joined the military the opportunity to stay in the U.S.

[OPINION: House GOP Dream Act Deferral Vote Is Political Insanity]

While Dreamers say they appreciate Republicans' change of heart, it is too little too late. The goal post has moved quickly. Since the Senate passed a comprehensive bill that included a path to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, dreamers say they won't accept anything less from the House of Representatives.

"Anything else than a pathway to citizenship for our community is not acceptable to dreamers," says Cristina Jimenez, the cofounder of United We Dream, an organization that advocates for immigration reform. "The reality is that our parents sacrificed everything to bring us here for a better future for our families. We don't leave them behind."

Dreamers will gather Tuesday on Capitol Hill to protest before a hearing in the Subcommittee on Immigration, and advocate for a more comprehensive path to citizenship.

They warn that ignoring the public outcry for immigration reform could have election-year consequences.

"The Latino community will not look kindly at immigration legislation that condemns people to be second-class citizens," says Clarissa Martinez De Castro, the Director of Immigration and National Campaigns at the National Council of La Raza, a Latino civil rights organization.

[ALSO: Welcoming Immigrants Is an American Tradition]

Democrats agree.

"We've been there we've done that. It's so yesterday," Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said during a leadership press conference last week.

The most recent Pew Poll shows that Americans are divided on whether immigrants who entered the country illegally should be allowed a path to citizenship. Just 43 percent support it, while 31 percent say they should be allowed to stay in the country but should only get legal residency.

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