WASHINGTON — Legislation creating a path to citizenship for undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children faces a new border crisis and old partisan objections, diminishing the chances it will become law despite full Democratic control of Congress and the White House.
On Thursday, the U.S. House is poised to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, House Democrats’ version of the so-called DREAM Act.
It would provide a route to naturalized citizenship for the more than 700,000 residents shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The bill also includes access to legally protected statuses for millions more immigrants, including those with Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, designations.
Yet this measure, or indeed anything touching on the issue of immigration, will have trouble clearing the U.S. Senate, where filibuster rules mean most bills must gain the support of 60 senators to advance, rather than a simple majority.
The task became harder this week as Republicans ramped up their anti-immigration messaging amid a surge of migrant children crossing the border
While the largest numbers of those enrolled in DACA live in California, Illinois and Texas, they are scattered across the nation. Some states with large numbers of DACA recipients include Florida, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona, according to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the 2016 Census.
The Dreamers’ fate in the House is not in question. A nearly identical bill passed in 2019 with unanimous support from Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Fred Upton of Michigan and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
Another measure the House is also expected to pass would offer green cards to farmworkers who don’t have legal status, and that bill has 11 Republican cosponsors.
Both measures easily cleared a procedural hurdle Tuesday by advancing on a party-line vote in the House Rules Committee ahead of the debate on the House floor on Thursday.
Problems in the Senate
Although the Biden administration has released a comprehensive immigration plan, the White House has indicated it would also be open to piecemeal legislation on the subject.
However, Democrats in the Senate, with their fledgling and razor thin majority, do not seem to have decided whether they would rather move scattershot bills taking on aspects of the immigration system or try again for comprehensive legislation.
Either path is complicated. Read more