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The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a pair of immigration bills that offer a targeted approach to amending the immigration system but have an uncertain future when it comes to passage in the Senate.
The American Dream Law and Promise, Which was previously passed in the House of Representatives in 2019, will create a process for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children – known as “dreams” – to gain permanent residency status and eventual citizenship. It also includes a citizenship pathway for people with temporary protection status and beneficiaries of deferred forced departure. It passed by 228 to 197.
“Millions of people in this country live in fear, and hold their breath every day, that they may be deported to distant lands that are not their homes,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Thursday. “Because America is their home. For dreamers, it has been their home from their early days. Today, this Council will take action – as we did in the last Congress – to help them breathe easier.”
The House of Representatives also approved Farm Manpower Modernization Act, Which would create a system for agricultural workers to gain temporary status with a final choice to become permanent residents. The law will also amend the existing H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers.
Bills aim to address parts of A bigger proposal for immigration Introduced by President Biden at the beginning of his term. But getting this broad approach through both houses of Congress is difficult.
Thursday’s election comes after a week in which immigration was in the lead and the center on both sides of the corridor. On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led dozens of Republican lawmakers to visit the Southern Frontier in El Paso and He blamed President Biden To the increase in the number of immigrants at the border.
Next, Democratic MP Veronica Escobar She said The Republican Party delegation used her area as a “pillar” and that the numbers of unaccompanied immigrant children increased during the Trump administration and was not properly addressed.
In an interview On NPR’s Morning Edition Wednesday, Responded to Republican messages that the increase was driven by Biden taking office.
She said: “The drive to get here, the drive to get here, and the need to get here, do not change depending on who are in the White House.”
Next week, Texas Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz will lead a Senate delegation to tour the Texas-Mexico border and meet with local officials. Both have targeted the Biden administration, telling reporters in recent days that immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally do not face consequences and this is fueling an increase in borders.
Republicans in the House of Representatives also put forward their refutation of the Democrats’ immigration plans. Representative Maria Elvira Salazar, Republic of Florida, put forward her immigration proposal during a press conference at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
to her Suggestion Includes increased funding for border security and will give immediate legal status to DREAMers with pathways to lasting legitimacy.
In addition, the draft plan created the “Dignity Program”, which establishes a pathway for illegal immigrants who pass a criminal background check, remain employed and pay income taxes for five-year, renewable visas to maintain legal status. After completing the Alkarama program, participants have the option to participate in the “recovery program” to eventually gain permanent residency status.
“There is no political party that monopolizes mercy in our country,” she said. “We Republicans, we are sympathetic too. We want to give dignity to those who have lived here with us for years, and those who want to come to this country – but they have to follow the law.”
Address the increase in borders
In his testimony before a House committee on Wednesday, the Minister of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayuras said The United States is on the right track to see more immigrants on the country’s southern border than at any time in the past 20 years.
He said the United States needs to “finally reform the immigration system” and address the root causes of immigration from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
“The president is committed to returning this crucial element to a comprehensive approach to our borders and immigration issues that have been challenging our nation for many years,” he said.
As NPR’s Franco Ordonez reported, the US government did More than 4,000 unaccompanied migrant children are in detention Starting Sunday. By law, children are supposed to spend no more than 72 hours in detention facilities before moving to more hospitable facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. On average, they now spend 117 hours in border guard custody.
To respond to the growing numbers of immigrants at the border, the Biden administration has done so Mobilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMATo help tackle the slight increase in the number of immigrants over the next 90 days. The federal government aims to transfer unaccompanied children from US Customs and Border Protection to HHS more quickly and then place them with a family member or sponsor while their asylum claims are adjudicated.
The Senate faces a tougher immigration battle
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, a key figure in the Senate effort to push comprehensive immigration legislation forward, sounded pessimistic about the chances of any major reform of the system being passed in the near future.
Durbin said the fact that the House is moving forward with only partial clauses from Biden’s proposal is a reminder that neither House does have the bipartisan support necessary to make the most of the effort now.
“Even with the majority, that’s blanket [bill] “It’s still very difficult to achieve,” Durbin told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The two articles previously approved by the House of Representatives were part of the legislation that had the support of Republicans, as well as a 2013 bipartisan bill put together by the so-called Gang of Eight, which included Durbin. However, the legislation failed to gain final approval in Congress.
Some, including West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Mansheen, have pointed to the 2013 bill as a possible path to compromise. However, other former members of the Gang of Eight, which includes Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, now argue that the window for such a proposal has expired.
Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez said he was not prepared to “raise the red flag” before the Senate could hold serious bipartisan talks.
Instead, Menendez said that he sees the possibility of implementing the larger legislation or the smaller version of it in one way or another, and the Democrats are negotiating with the Republicans.
“It’s an ongoing effort to build a coalition,” said Menendez, the lead senator of Biden’s larger proposal.
However, Menendez said the party might also consider adopting efforts to reform immigration through reconciliation, the legislative tool that Democrats used to overcome Republican opposition to approving a $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that was signed into law last week.
Ultimately, he said, the goal was still to find a way to obtain legal residency for 11 million people.
“We are in a constant effort to try to achieve this and we will see. All options are on the table,” Menendez said. “If we think that getting there through different sectors can achieve that, that’s wonderful. We look at reconciliation as a means, as a possibility for some, if not all. We are looking at allocation bills, and some of the things we are asking for in the reform bill. “Our own is about ownership issues. So we are looking at all the options.”