Rep. Carlos Curbelo said Tuesday children of illegal immigrants should have a pathway to legal status.
“These are America’s children and that’s why the legislation I have introduced is called Recognizing America’s Children. These are young people who went to school with our own children,” Mr. Curbelo, Florida Republican, said on CNN.
Mr. Curbelo introduced the legislation earlier this year, but the issue has taken on a pressing importance as President Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or so-called “Dreamers” program that allows children brought to the U.S. illegally to stay.
“They are working in this country. They are contributing to this country. This is the only country that many of them remember. So we should afford them … the opportunity to be fully recognized as Americans and to gain legal status in this country,” he said.
Mr. Curbelo’s plan outlines a path for those who were brought to America as children to continue living and working here for five years. If they are in good standing at that point, they would be eligible for permanent legal status.
“At first, they would be granted conditional legal permanent resident status for five years. We would make sure that they were working towards these goals, whether it’s employment, higher education, or service in military, and after that point they would receive permanent legal status,” he said.