White House passes dreamers’ bill as immigration debate rages

Khoshbin Sheikho –

Experts note that migration is always increasing during winter, when conditions along the border are less severe, and that the current increase closely follows the pattern of previous uprisings, and the number of immigrants was widely expected this winter, before Biden’s victory, and the numbers began to increase before his inauguration.

For this reason, the House of Representatives voted Thursday for the first time this year to provide citizenship for illegal immigrants brought from Mexico to the United States as children, amid a larger debate in Washington over President Joe Biden’s handling of the increasing number of immigrants seeking to cross the country.

The measure, and another bill to provide legal status for undocumented farm workers, were examined by Democrats at the last session of Congress, but stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Democrats hope to see a different outcome with their party taking control of the House, although it remains unclear whether the bills could get the support of the 10 Republicans needed to move forward.
The American Dream and Promise Act, which will provide a path to citizenship for undocumented young immigrants known as “dreamers” and other people living in the country with temporary protection status, was examined in a vote 228-197.

Nine Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the measure, more than the number of Republican votes the motion received in the last session of Congress, and according to its Democratic sponsors, the proposal will affect about 3.4 million people.

House Speaker “Nancy Pelosi”, Democrat of California, said at an event before the vote: “For us, this is not just a day to pass legislation, it is a cause for celebration.

The House also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which could create a system for more than a million undocumented agricultural workers to apply for legal status, and was praised by Democrats and Republicans who first drafted the bipartisan agreement in 2019.

Thirty Republicans voted with Democrats, and one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted against the bill, and they face an uncertain path forward in the Senate.

“There is simply not enough interest among domestic workers to accomplish these jobs,” Representative Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, said Thursday, calling the proposal a “targeted solution” and “a biparty needed by our farmers and ranchers.”

A majority of Republicans on Thursday criticized the Biden administration’s response to the growing number of immigrants trying to enter the United States across the southwest border.

“It’s Biden’s border crisis,” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said on the ground. So far, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats are offering no solutions.”

As of Wednesday, 9,562 unaccompanied children had been detained at Department of Health and Human Services facilities, and about 4,500 were currently in border patrol custody, where they were being treated and taken to HHS shelters, according to administration officials.

The Biden administration, which refused to describe the situation as a “crisis,” blamed Trump’s handling of the border and said it had inherited a system that was not prepared to increase the number of immigrants.

Republicans were warned to complain about the situation at the border while refusing to submit comprehensive immigration reform to the House chamber for a vote when they controlled the House.

Representative Maria Elvira Salazar, a Republican from Florida, a freshman who introduced her own version of the Dream and Promise Act, said Wednesday that Democrats are practicing politics with votes on Thursday, given the uncertain path forward in the Senate.

“They can’t play with people like that,” she said of illegal immigrants seeking legal status and a path to citizenship.
Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that immigration reform “remains a difficult thing to achieve.” He noted that the House of Representatives voted on several limited immigration measures instead of the Biden administration’s comprehensive proposal that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that it would be difficult for Republicans to enter into negotiations on immigration reform without discussing border security and dealing with unaccompanied minors by the Biden administration.

“The migration challenge we face on the southern border is nothing new, it is a reflection of the fact that our immigration system is broken,” he said on Wednesday.

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