House Shows Some Movement on Citizenship for 'Dreamers'

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 11:11 AM

By Lisa Barron

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The House inched one step closer to overhauling the immigration system this week, addressing the issue of citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children.

Members of both parties expressed optimism that they could support some form of citizenship for young adults, known as "Dreamers," who were brought across the border by their parents, reports The New York Times.

"Simply put, children who were brought here haven't committed a crime misdemeanor or otherwise," said South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who leads the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

It is still not clear, though, where House Republicans stand on a pathway to citizenship for all of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

"The most optimistic interpretation is that leading House Republicans are testing the waters in hopes they can bring enough of their caucus along to get to a more conservative approach to a broad bill — one that would include legalization of the 11 million, with a citizenship option for many," Frank Sharry, the executive director of America's Voice, told the Times.

Still, the House Republican Conference as a whole has largely rejected the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate last month, and House Speaker John Boehner has said he will not bring it to the House floor without the support of a majority of Republicans.

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