Two Republicans set to retire from the Senate, including Arizona's Jon Kyl, have unveiled a plan to provide a way for young people brought into the country illegally to stay here.
The legislation introduced by Kyl and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas is similar to the DREAM Act that would have given young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Democratic critics, including Southern Arizona U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva say that path to legal status is not enough, it needs to be a path to citizenship.
Grijalva called the proposal "too little...too late," in an interview.
The DREAM Act failed to get through Congress, and in June President Barack Obama issued an executive order giving young immigrants a two-year delay in deportation actions.
Political observers say the Republican bill has little chance of advancing in the lame-duck session focused on avoiding automatic budget cuts set to take effect at the beginning of next year, but the bill is an indication of the GOP's new-found focus on immigration reform following the November election results.