Paul Ryan changes course on DREAM Act?
February 22nd, 2013
04:10 PM ET
2 years ago

Paul Ryan changes course on DREAM Act?

(CNN) – As some prominent Republicans change their position on immigration, look no further than tweaks to Rep. Paul Ryan's website for examples of the evolving stance.

While the House Budget Committee chairman's congressional site previously displayed clear opposition to the DREAM Act, it now states that immigration reform must include "finding a way forward" for children brought to the country illegally.

Given the recent climate on immigration reform in Washington, the change isn't all that surprising. Since the November election, when Mitt Romney won only 27% of the Latino voting bloc, the Republican Party has largely sounded more supportive of lighter immigration policies for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S.

And CNN reported last month that Ryan, himself, was supporting a bipartisan effort in the House on immigration reform and encouraging fellow members to move forward with major immigration reform legislation this year.

Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, also applauded the president's tone on immigration during his State of the Union address earlier this month. He told CNN's Jake Tapper that Obama's language in the speech was "productive."

The DREAM Act, which establishes a pathway to citizenship for young, undocumented immigrants pursuing education or military opportunities, has gone through multiple versions of legislation throughout the last decade but has failed to pass Congress.

The Wisconsin Republican voted against a version of the DREAM Act in the House in 2010, and his selection as Romney's running mate was widely seen as a choice that wouldn't particularly help Romney gain support in the Latino base.

The congressman, according to his old text on his website, opposed the DREAM Act because it was "a symptom-rather than the root cause-of our current problems." Ryan argued that the U.S. must first secure the border and build an enforceable guest worker program before pursuing such "piecemeal reforms like the DREAM Act."

However, that specific language is gone and the website now says that "immigration legislation must include a fair and reasonable way to address the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, of which over seven million are employed, contributing members of our economy." That includes a path forward "for the DREAMers," it states.

The changes were pointed out to CNN by a Democratic operative.

During the election, Ryan was thrust onto a ticket in which his running mate, Romney, was known for stating during the Republican presidential primary that he would "veto the DREAM Act if he were president," saying instead he would support a path to residency – not citizenship – for those who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.

Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fundraiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

Ryan's website also omits language that used to say immigration reform must require undocumented immigrants to leave the U.S., then re-apply for citizenship from their home country if they want to come back.

That language also fell in line with what Romney stated during his presidential bid, most specifically his position favoring undocumented workers to "self-deport," then reapply from outside the U.S.

Another line that has been removed from Ryan's website: "I do not support amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants already living in the United States."

Ryan's office said the team "periodically updates content on our website to ensure residents of the 1st Congressional District receive accurate information."

"The most recent updates to our website coincided with the start of the 113th Congress," Kevin Seifert, a spokesman for Ryan, told CNN.

Ryan, however, still supports tighter border security measures, an enforceable guest worker program, and a secure employee verification system.

Ryan said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that "there's a way to do this through earned legalization without rewarding people for having come in with undocumented status, illegally. We don't want to give them an advantage over those who came here legally."

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: DREAM act
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. cbr

    While he is at it perhaps he can rethink the budget. His budget relies on huge cuts in spending by the federal government. Unfortunately, the state and municipalities will be forced to take on the added expenses. Congressman Ryan must know that he will be putting the burden on the taxpayers and on property owners in particular.

    He is nearer to the 1% than the 49% and he just might want to revisit how the 49% budgets their expenditures.

    February 22, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. just askin

    why create more laws when the criminal obama adminstration refuses to enforce the laws curently on the books? why should the american people believe that we won't be in this very same position 15 years from now when millions more flood into the usa to get there free citizenship?

    February 22, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    What happened? Did Ryan finally "run some numbers" on the cost of detaining and deporting 11 million people? Don't forget, folks. Last summer Ryan was asked what the national debt would be when his Ryan Plan would bring the annual budget into balance after 30-40 years, and his answer was, "I haven't run the numbers, yet." With answers like that I think he's a budget quack, not a hawk.

    February 22, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Fickle minded guy...

    February 22, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. just askin

    so what are the new harsh penalties for over staying your visa, which a lot of these people do. what is going to prevent this practice in the future? nothing. the government simply wants to ignore their failure to enforce our laws and make the problem go away temporarily, like it did before. what is being proposed is not real solutions. we are guaranteed to have another 10-20 million illegals to deal with with 15 years. it is almost guaranteed by what they are thinking of doing now.

    February 22, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    :"why create more laws when the criminal obama adminstration refuses to enforce the laws curently on the books? "

    MOre border patrol agents and more technology on the border than at any other time in our history, record numbers of deportations EVERY SINGLE YEAR and net illegal immigration from Mexico reduced to ZERO and you have the unmitigated gall to claim he's not enforcing our laws? Grow up, you lying sack of bigotry.

    February 22, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    just askin

    why create more laws when the criminal obama adminstration refuses to enforce the laws curently on the books? why should the american people believe that we won't be in this very same position 15 years from now when millions more flood into the usa to get there free citizenship?
    -------------------–
    Do you know what motivated so many to come into this country illegally in search of work? Google this, " IRS Form I-9 "

    The 'eye-nine' form was created under Reagan to verify residency status when people were hired. It was mailed to the IRS along with your W-4s. Conservatives quickly realized that immigrants could undermine the labor unions.

    Under Bush-41, the IRS complained about the paper work, and so the law was changed so that employers only needed to keep it on file. In this way INS agents can view it as needed.

    The real flood gate opened under Bush-43. Employers "complailned" about the paper work burden, and so he changed the law so that the form could be discarded after three years of employment. This is when the border was suddenly overwhelmed.

    February 22, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Tom

    Mitt Romney taught him well - when the going gets tough, the tough start flip-flopping.

    February 22, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Note to GOP/Teatrolls: The. Lipstick. Isn't. Working.

    February 22, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "While he is at it perhaps he can rethink the budget."

    Dusting off Mr. Mittens Etch A Sketch isn't going to get Paul Ryan any further than it got Mitt Romney. Neither will a few pandering remarks here and there directed at those he spent years insulting with his budgets and his Ayn Rand BS. There is a difference between pandering and doing. Ryan's a panderer ... not a doer.

    February 22, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Moose

    Rudy, are you wearing your wifes panties again ???

    February 22, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    I see that face plate boy keeps lying through his big nose. If he is really as catholic as he claims he will go straight to he11 when his time is up.
    The party of we hate everyone "not like us" now cares about illegal immigrants, legal immigrants and the 47%+
    After the elections they will revert back to their hate and racism. Look at the state level at present. They are still tying to keep us down from the bottom up.

    February 22, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    @just askin--perhaps a grammar and spelling course?

    February 22, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Boo

    It's called PANDERING.

    February 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. John the Historian

    Republicans only want to be nice to Hispanics because of their severe defeat in two presidential elections. Hispanics will see through this farce. The demographics are changing too much for Republicans. White America is over. Gays. Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Asians, legal immigration,and agnostics will have the new say in this country.

    February 22, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Getoverit

    @Tom

    Mitt Romney taught him well — when the going gets tough, the tough start flip-flopping.
    -------------
    And when Obama flip-flops, it's called "evolving". LMFAO!

    February 22, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    They still don't get it.........Latinos will not vote for republicans, even if they hand them citizenship on a silver platter. They are socialistic people, and that will never change.

    February 22, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. The Elephant in the Room

    Latinos are not fools nor will they be fooled.

    The republican party`s marching orders have been HOSTILE to spanish heritage Americans for 50 years. Attempts at "REBRANDING" will not be successful. An exocism is required.

    February 22, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. M-W-T

    I still don't TRUST him.....never did.....never will !
    I'm an Independent,....and it will be a long time before I ever vote for a republican again

    February 22, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "They still don't get it.........Latinos will not vote for republicans, even if they hand them citizenship on a silver platter. They are socialistic people, and that will never change."

    Hahahaha....WOW. Thanks for showing us how much you guys truly, truly just don't get it.

    February 22, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. GaryOwen27

    Gee, must be going after that "urban" vote.....

    February 22, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Mark

    He can ETCH-A-SKETCH on his position(s) all he wants but I would not even begin to trust this heartess Ayn Rand lover.

    February 22, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. Former Republican, now an Independent

    People like Paul Ryan who's plans are really phony politics, will eventually run with "any dog that will hunt".

    February 22, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Voters only need to know that Ryan's "flip flop" is not sincere. It was done for political reasons and not because of a heart felt concern for the children.

    February 22, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. roro

    Just another flip flopper. If only he really believed what he's now saying. He can talk change, but we all know his policies are the same as they were. Losing in the election has just changed his rhetoric, not his heart.

    February 22, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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