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Politics

Carlos Curbelo Pushes New Paths to Citizenship

June 22, 2016 - 8:30am
Carlos Curbelo and Mike Coffman
Carlos Curbelo and Mike Coffman

A Florida Republican who refuses to get behind Donald Trump unveiled a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants on Tuesday. 

Carlos Curbelo teamed up with Colorado Republican Mike Coffman to bring out the “Recognizing American Children Act" on Tuesday. Their proposal would “allow undocumented immigrants that arrived in this country prior to 2010 as minors to adjust their immigration status” by offering various paths to citizenship. 

“If the immigrant has stayed out of trouble with the law, has not relied on public assistance, and has graduated high school, they will be granted conditional status for five years,” the sponsors noted about the bill. “During this five year period, they can complete one of three pathways for adjustment:  receiving a degree from a vocational school or institution of higher education; serving honorably in the Armed Services; or being gainfully employed, contributing to our economy. If an immigrant meets the criteria set for each pathway, they could then apply to adjust to legal permanent resident (LPR) status.  Military enlistees would be immediately eligible for naturalization."

The sponsors went to bat for the bill on Tuesday. 

"There are many young immigrants in our country who came involuntarily with their families as minors,” Curbelo said. “They have grown up with our own kids and attended American schools - many speaking only English. Today they are trying to make a contribution to our great nation through the economy or the military. These are undoubtedly America’s children. This legislation recognizes them as such by giving them the opportunity to adjust their status. In a season when some are accentuating our differences for personal political gain, our country should come together to support these hard working young people who have earned their place in America.”

“They were brought here as children, grew up here, went to school here, and often don’t know of any other country as home except this one,” Coffman said. “If they can demonstrate their commitment to keeping a job or getting an education, they ought to be able to earn a path to becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident and those who serve honorably in the military deserve a direct path to citizenship.”

Curbelo is a top target for Democrats in November after his South Florida congressional seat titled towards them after the latest round of congressional redistricting. The South Florida Republican has refused to back presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

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