House Democrats Pass Immigration Bill to Give ‘Dreamers’ Pathway to Citizenship

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “House Democrats Pass Immigration Bill to Give ‘Dreamers’ Pathway to Citizenship” – below is their description.

    The House of Representatives voted Thursday to unlatch a gateway to citizenship for young Dreamers and immigrants who have fled war or natural disasters abroad, giving Democrats a win in the year’s first vote on an issue that once again faces a steep uphill climb in Congress.

    On a near party-line 228-197 vote, lawmakers approved one bill offering legal status to around 2 million Dreamers, brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and hundreds of thousands of other migrants from a dozen troubled countries.

    Passage seemed imminent for a second measure creating similar protections for 1 million farm workers who have worked in the U.S. illegally; the government estimates they comprise half the nation’s agricultural laborers.

    Both bills hit a wall of opposition from Republicans insistent that any immigration legislation bolster security at the Mexican border, which waves of migrants have tried breaching in recent weeks.

    The GOP has accused congressional Democrats of ignoring that problem and President Joe Biden of fueling it by erasing former President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies, even though that surge began while Trump was still in office.

    The House bills’ prospects were gloomy in the evenly split Senate, where the 50 Democrats will need at least 10 GOP supporters to break Republican filibusters.

    The outlook was even grimmer for Biden’s more ambitious goal of legislation making citizenship possible for all 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, easing visa restrictions, improving border security technology and spending billions in Central America to ease problems that prompt people to leave.

    Congress has deadlocked over immigration for years, and it once again seemed headed toward becoming political ammunition. Republicans could use it to rally conservative voters in upcoming elections, while Democrats could add it to a stack of House-passed measures languishing in the Senate to build support for abolishing that chamber’s bill-killing filibusters.

    Democrats said their bills were aimed not at border security but at addressing groups of immigrants who deserve to be helped.

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