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Democratic-Controlled House To vote on Citizenship Path for ‘Dreamers’

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The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is due to vote on two immigration bills that would pave the way for citizenship for millions living illegally in the United States, including farm workers and younger immigrants who known as “Dreamers.”

The bills are an effort to take targeted steps forward as congressional leaders discuss President Joe Biden’s comprehensive immigration plan, and preliminary steps in the procedure could arrive on Tuesday. Republicans are shifting their focus on the Biden attack to a new influx of arrivals to the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said Sunday that the influx of migrant children reaching the border was a “humanitary crisis” exacerbated by the “broken system” of strict immigration left behind by former President Donald Trump.

But Republicans blame the influx as a result of Biden’s reversal of some tough Trump policies, which House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called “Biden’s border crisis” on a trip to border on Monday.

The first immigration bill expected in the House this week will offer an ultimate path to citizenship to “Dreamers,” immigrants who live in the United States illegally after entering as children. It will also help recipients of temporary migration protections that allow immigrants from many countries affected by disaster or conflict to live temporarily in the United States.

The measure, sponsored by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, could help make more than 4.4 million people eligible for permanent residence in the U.S., according to the Migration Policy Institute. It has already passed the House once, in 2019, with 237 votes; seven of those were Republicans.

The second bill, sponsored by Representative Zoe Lofgren, would put nearly a million paperless farm workers on a path to citizenship, a Democratic agent said. It has a co-sponsor Republican, Representative Dan Newhouse. Thirty-four Republicans voted for the measure when it last passed the House in 2019.

Neither bill was taken to the Senate when it had a Republican majority. With Democrats now holding narrow control over that chamber, they hope to attract some Republican support.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the leading Republicans in previous talks about immigration, said she was skeptical of bipartisan progress that could be made into legislation before the latest increase in immigration stops. come to the border.

“I think it’s going to be hard to get a bipartisan bill put together with anything that has a legalization component until you stop the flow,” Graham told reporters Monday night.

Democrats last month formally introduced Biden’s extensive immigration overhaul in Congress, a step that would pave the way for U.S. citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. It faces the long possibility of passing because no Republicans have supported it publicly and it is unclear if all Democrats will return to the strategy.

“I think Speaker Pelosi has discovered that he has no support for the comprehensive bill in the House,” said No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin, who also chairs the chamber’s Judiciary Committee. “And I think it indicates where it is in the Senate as well.”

But Durbin said that once the House passes two immigration measures this week, he and other senators will need to seek bipartisan agreement on a bill that “takes those two as starting points.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone and Aurora Ellis)

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