Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), a cosponsor of the new immigration measure. (AP/The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Jaime R. Carrero)

Republicans have introduced legislation to allow young people brought to the United States by their parents illegally to receive legal residency if they seek higher education or enlist in the military.

The Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman reports that the measure, sponsored by retiring Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), as well as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), would offer a Republican alternative to the so-called Dream Act, providing a pathway to permanent residency — but not citizenship — to young adults who have completed military service or higher education and have worked at least four years.

The proposal comes as an increasing number of Republican voices have called for the party to soften its hard-line opposition to illegal immigration in the wake of massive November electoral losses driven, in part, by poor performance with Latino voters.

Hutchison and Kyl insisted that their bill was not a response to the election results. Instead, they said it represented a year of behind-the-scenes work to come up with an alternative to the Dream Act that would allow such young people to remain in the United States without allowing them, as Kyl said, “to jump ahead of anybody in the citizenship path.”

Read Roz’s full report here.

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