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House to take up immigration bills amid influx of migrants crossing US-Mexico border

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The House will vote HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California. It would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” as well as for beneficiaries of temporary protection status and beneficiaries of deferred forced exit. According to the Institute for Migration Policy, the legislation means up to 4.4 million people are eligible for permanent residence.

The House also plans to pass HR 1603, the Agricultural Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation from Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington. The bill would allow agricultural workers, and their spouses and children, to earn legal status by continuing to work in the agricultural sector and would introduce changes to the H-2A guest agricultural worker program.

These two bills have already been passed by the House in previous years, but are once again being voted on by Democrats with few majorities in the House and Senate. They are both expected to pass through the House again, but reach a Senate wall.

The chances of these bills getting enough Republican support to get 60 votes in the Senate are very low, renewing the debate between Democrats to end the filibuster. This would allow legislation to be passed with a lower voting threshold, but it also seems unlikely to happen.
Democrats are facing increasing control over their treatment of immigration amid a recent increase in border crossings that Republicans have argued is a serious crisis.

House Republicans have hit the Biden administration in the influx of migrants crossing the border in recent weeks, including the large increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the United States.

Many of these migrants crossing the border have said they believe the Biden administration will be more welcoming than the Trump administration, which had taken a tougher stance.

“It’s more than a crisis. This is human lovelessness,” House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said in a briefing on a trip to the border this week. “The sad part of all this was not to happen. This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration. There is no other way to claim it than a border crisis with Biden.”

The push to pass these two bills will give House Democrats a chance to say they are working to move forward on immigration reforms, but questions remain about the fate of broader efforts to review the immigration system. of the nation.

And while some progressive Democrats would have liked to see comprehensive legislation on immigration reform instead of these two partial bills, other Democrats have thrown cold water on the idea, underscoring the amount of hike it would take to pass a bill. broader immigration package.

Senate President Dick Durbin he told CNN earlier this week who does not believe there is enough support in this Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill with a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, a key pillar of Biden’s immigration plan.

“I don’t see a way to do that,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I want it. I think we’re much more likely to deal with discrete elements.”

Supporting the House’s effort to move immigration bills, Durbin said, “I think President Pelosi has found that she has no support for the comprehensive bill in the House,” Durbin said. “And it also indicates where he is in the Senate.”

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

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