AZ business, education leaders urge Sinema to push 'Dreamer' legislation through

Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 5:38pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 9:11am

More than two dozen Arizona leaders in politics, business, and education want Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to move forward on a framework deal to provide a pathway to citizenship to some undocumented people brought to the U.S. as kids — known as "Dreamers." 

The group includes leaders from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, along with local politicians like Mesa Mayor John Giles. 

In a letter sent to Sinema, they say almost 10,000 dreamers are pursuing higher education in Arizona alone — and argue giving them legal status in the U.S. makes economic sense. They also say Arizona’s passage of Prop. 308 — which gives in-state tuition to undocumented graduates — shows bipartisan efforts can work. 

Sinema’s framework, drafted and floated this month with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, could provide a pathway to citizenship for some 2 million dreamers, but it also seeks to extend asylum restrictions at the border, like the pandemic-era protocol Title 42, and give more funding to border security. 

Details are still in flux, but analysts say the clock is ticking for the loose framework to become formalized. It must become a bill and make it to the floor for a vote during the lame duck session this month. 

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