House panel looks at ways to help children of illegal immigrants

July 24, 2013

A House panel on immigration on Tuesday took up proposals that carve a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who were brought here at a young age.

The Republican-led panel pitched the issue as a key piece of their stepwise approach to immigration reform.

“They had no input in their parents’ decision to bring the family to the U.S. illegally. And many of them know no other home that the United States, having grown up as Americans since they were toddlers,” Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said at the hearing heavily attended by Hispanic youth.

Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and a former prosecutor, said children have always been viewed as a “special class” under the law.

But whether Congress should pass separate bills to protect these children, known as “Dreamers,” without a more comprehensive package of reforms, remains a sticking point on Capitol Hill.

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