Tomorrow will be an important day for potential immigration reform as the House will vote on two immigration bills, one to provide a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” and a second to provide legal status to certain migrant agriculture workers. The Dream Act legislation would allow conditional permanent resident status for 10 years to those who arrived in the United States illegally as a minor and those with deferred enforced departure (DED) status or temporary protected status (TPS). Immigrants would have to meet qualifying requirements, such as passing a background check and enrollment in or completion of certain educational programs.
As of now, the farmworkers bill has the best chance of passing because it has more Republican support. Several key Republicans have said they will support the bill for farmworkers but cannot back the Dream Act because they feel terms are too generous. While most support the path for citizenship for minors who came to the United States through no fault of their own, there are still many Republicans who are against legislation that opens the door for their parents to also stay. The argument is that the penalty for parents who cross illegally should not have an easy pathway to citizenship. In 2019, seven Republicans joined with all 230 Democrats in passing the American Dream and Promise Act. The legislation, however, died in the Senate. Today, there are many Republicans who support the Dream Act as well as the Farmworkers legislation, and they both have a good chance to pass tomorrow’s vote.
Republicans have been fighting the Biden administration and Democrats on immigration in recent weeks focusing on the increase in southern border migrants, especially unaccompanied minors, that have arrived at the border. House Republicans have traveled to the Mexican border, urged lawsuits and held numerous press conferences to try and create resistance to broader immigration reforms.