A project of the Center for Community Change

Another House Political Smoke and Mirrors Trick—The KIDS Act

By Erin Brock

As the House Judiciary Committee begins its review of the KIDS act, proposed by Representative Eric Cantor, its inadequacy is already becoming clear. The act is part of the House GOP’s attempt to appease the immigration reform movement by offering a potential path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Basically, the KIDS act is the House’s lighter version of the DREAM act, and it’s simply not good enough.

kids-actThe KIDS act is a product of the piecemeal approach that the House is taking on immigration reform-a process that will not work for immigrants or immigrant families. A path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants must be a cornerstone of any comprehensive immigration reform but the House continues to chop up this vital path through its refusal to craft a complete reform bill. The House cannot tear families apart by offering citizenship to DREAMers and not to their family members by forcing young immigrants to choose between themselves and their parents. This approach is purely inadequate and does not address the complexity of our broken immigration system.

It is key that any comprehensive immigration reform legislature addresses the unique situation exhibited by DREAMers, who, though undocumented, have grown up calling the United States home. Yes, the KIDS act does address these DREAMers. However, this issue is only one of many that must be remembered in House legislation. The House cannot expect immigrants, the immigration reform community, supporters and the American public as a whole to be hypnotized by the KIDS act and remain ignorant to the fact that the House still has much more to do on immigration reform. We are not fooled by these political smoke and mirrors. We will not accept anything less than comprehensive reform that addresses all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

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