Outgoing Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona have co-introduced a new bill that would offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who meet certain age and residency requirements. The ACHIEVE Act would put into place a three-tiered visa program that would give young illegal aliens an opportunity to become legal residents in the United States.
Both Senators Hutchison and Kyl are retiring at the end of this Congress. Sen. Hutchison will retire with a career C+ grade, while Sen. Kyl will retire with a career B grade, ranking both Senators in the bottom half of all GOP Senators.
Many young people in this country are here illegally through no fault of their own. Relegating a potentially productive portion of the population to the shadows is neither humane nor good economic or social policy.
Only those who have abided by our nation’s laws, while residing within its borders, would be eligible for continued legal status, and there is no automatic path to citizenship.
We have attempted to accommodate those with the ambition to pursue useful educational degrees, or serve in the U.S. military. Moreover, our proposal prohibits the awarding of additional federal benefits.
While this legislation addresses a single facet of our nation’s complex immigration problem, it is nonetheless a step forward in addressing a time sensitive issue.
-- Senators Hutchison and Kyl
The ACHIEVE Act creates the W-1, W-2 and W-3 visas.
To qualify for the W-1 visa, illegal aliens would have to be age 28 or younger (32 or younger if they hold a bachelor's degree), have continuously lived in the U.S. for five years prior to enactment, came to the U.S. under the age of 14, be of strong moral character including committing no felonies or more than one misdemeanor, and pass a medical exam and background check. The W-1 visa is a 6-year temporary visa that includes working privileges and requires the visa holder to attend school or serve in the military for at least 4 years.
The W-2 visa is a 4-year temporary visa with a working permit. To qualify, applicants would have to complete all the requirements for the W-1 visa. When the W-2 visa expires, applicants can qualify for a permanent W-3 visa that includes a work permit, but does not include a path to citizenship.
For more information, see Sen. Kyl's website.