The House passed The American Dream and Promise Act, paving the way for undocumented immigrants to receive legal citizenship.
- The House voted in favor of the ‘Dreamers’ act providing a pathway for migrants in the U.S.
- The American Dream and Promise Act will give temporary protection to young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
- It is still unclear whether the bill will pass the Senate.
On Thursday, The House of Representatives voted to provide a pathway to ‘Dreamers’ brought to the U.S. illegally as children to receive citizenship. The vote was 228-197 in favor of The American Dream and Promise Act, giving temporary protected status to young undocumented migrants.
As ABC reports, the bill passed amid a larger debate over President Biden’s approach regarding the surge in migrants seeking to cross into the country from Mexico.
During the last session of Congress, the Dreamers’ act, along with another bill called The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, providing legal status to undocumented farmworkers, was passed by Democrats. However, both were postponed in a GOP-controlled Senate.
Democratic sponsors claim the bill would impact nearly 3.4 million people.
BREAKING NEWS: The house has passed The Dream and Promise Act! This will provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and others with temporary immigration protections. #HomeIsHere pic.twitter.com/bciUZC7j3C
— CASA (@CASAforall) March 18, 2021
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash, stated: “These people have lived in silence for far too long.”
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi added:
“For us, this is a day of not only passing legislation but a cause for celebration.”
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed at a 247-174 vote.
It is believed to create a system for more than 1 million undocumented farm workers to apply for legal status.
The bill, which was first crafted in 2019, was approved by both Democrats and Republicans. However, it is still unclear whether the Senate will vote for or against the act.
Undocumented farm workers feed America and have been on the frontlines of this pandemic making sure we have food on our tables. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides a path to citizenship for these essential workers. I urge Congress to pass the bill.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 18, 2021
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., claimed:
“There simply isn’t enough interest among domestic workers to get these jobs done.”
In the meantime, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., criticized Biden’s administration, stating:
“It is the Biden border crisis. So far, the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats aren’t providing any solutions.”
Administration officials report that nearly 10,000 unaccompanied children are being held in Department of Health and Human Services facilities.
Around 4,500 kids are currently in Border Patrol custody, where they are processed and transferred to the HHS shelters.
Although Biden’s administration faces criticism over the issue, they continue to blame Trump’s handling of the border. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said:
“Give us the time to rebuild the system that was entirely dismantled in the prior administration, and we have in fact begun to rebuild that system.”
According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., immigration reform “is still a very difficult thing to achieve.” Pointing out that The House voted on several limited immigration measures rather than the comprehensive proposal pushed by the Biden administration that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, Durbin stated:
“I’m reaching out on the Republican side. Many of them have said they are focused on the southern border. And I think that has to be part of the conversation.”
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said border security and the handling of the unaccompanied minors by the Biden administration should be discussed when Republicans engage in negotiations over immigration reform. He added:
“Until he regains control with policies that work, it’s going to be hard to do anything on Dreamers or anything else. Legalizing anybody under these circumstances would lead to even more illegal immigration.”