Democrat Senators are working on a large infrastructure bill which they hope to include a pathway to citizenship for certain immigrants in the country illegally. While it is still to be determined who would be covered under the bill, an early draft would call for $150 billion to go toward immigration policies, including the path to citizenship and some border security. Comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, has evaded Congress and lawmakers of both parties for four decades. On several occasions, bipartisan groups have formed, stirring the hopes of immigrant populations, only to have those efforts fall apart. Immigration advocates are demanding that President Biden and Democrats who have slim majorities in both houses of Congress — not waste the opportunity to enact meaningful change.
Democrats will face pressure to get something done before the midterm elections. Biden and congressional Democrats have not yet determined how they will enact an infrastructure plan and are still negotiating with Republicans over a bipartisan proposal. These negotiations are taking far longer than expected, and Democrats are also starting the process of pursuing a partisan bill that would address several of their top priorities, such as climate, immigration and healthcare. A pathway of citizenship would almost certainly be included for the Dreamers, participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.