President Biden has recently scored very high marks overall on his Approval Ratings, but in terms of Immigration his approval ratings are considerably worse. Much of this is because of the situation at the southern border which has seen a surge in crossings, but in particular, too many unaccompanied minors being held in deplorable conditions in detention centers. This was a big criticism topic of President Trump, and it has not improved under President Biden. It obviously needs to be addressed quickly before any headway can be achieved on the bigger immigration reforms that could do so much good for so many deserving immigrants in the United States. Biden and Senate Democrats have been proposing an eight-year pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants in the country as part of a broad immigration proposal. Currently, any such proposal would need the support of 10 Republicans to pass the Senate.
So far, Republicans have been hesitant at the package which was introduced in the Senate as the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, but some have expressed openness to negotiation. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has introduced a bill alongside Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to give permanent legal status to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Graham has said he does not believe it would pass as a stand-alone measure but could be a starting point for negotiations. But with the Southern Border situation, even the Republicans like Graham who are among the most open to immigration reform packages, are indicating the odds of passage are low as long as the migrant numbers remain high at the border. The general consensus among the GOP is that if you can’t contain the border why even negotiate for broader citizenship pathways. Democrats are still pushing ahead with the two smaller immigration bills. Bills to grant DACA recipients and illegal immigrant farmworkers pathways to citizenship recently passed the House. However, the odds of senate passage remain murky at best.