The Republican National Committee passed a resolution Friday calling on Congress to pass an immigration reform bill by the end of the year—but it stopped well short of the bipartisan compromise passed by the Senate earlier this year, omitting a “path to citizenship” for any class of illegal immigrant.
The resolution calls on Congress to create a special legal status for illegal immigrants brought to America as minors—or “DREAMers,” as immigration activists call them, for the eponymous bill to provide them legal status—which would include a renewable five-year work permit. They would have to provide proof of employment or enrollment to retain the status.
For illegal immigrants who came to the United States above the age of 18, under the plan advocated by the RNC they would be eligible for two-year renewable work permits, but no path to citizenship.
It also calls for the completion of a border fence and increased law enforcement patrols.
The measure puts the core of the Republican Party at odds with the Senate Gang of Eight legislation that passed with the support of a broad array of Republicans, and was spearheaded by lawmakers including Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. John McCain. President Barack Obama has said that any immigration reform bill must include a path to citizenship.
UPDATE: DNC Press Secretary Michael Czin said in a statement: “It’s disappointing that the RNC has yet again come out against commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship,” he said. “Not only is their position contrary what the vast majority of Americans want – it’s bad for the economy. Data shows that a path to citizenship will boost the GDP, increase total income for all Americans and generate more revenue for both states and the federal government. Reince Priebus and the Republican Party just don’t get it – they’re on the wrong side of the issues and the American people know it.”
Here’s the text of the resolution: