Despite the threat of a presidential veto and zero chance the senate will take up this bill, the Democrat House of Representatives passed legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for 2 million undocumented immigrants who brought to the U.S. as children.
The 237-187 vote elicited chants of “Si Se Puede” or “Yes We Can” in the chamber. The measure is not likely to succeed in the GOP-led Senate, where other pieces of legislation on issues like gun control, healthcare and climate change, advanced by Democrats have languished in recent years.
Just seven Republicans voted to support the bill, while all 187 “no” votes came from Republicans.
The bill would protect these folks from deportation just like they were under President Obama’s DACA program.
The proposal would also offer legal status to an estimated 400,000 people given Temporary Protected Status — mainly from Central America, Africa and the Middle East — which have been engulfed in wars, civil conflict and natural disasters.
The bill is supported by immigration, liberal and labor groups, including the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Supporters have said it would promote economic growth.
One problem with the bill is that it lacks any border security provisions which is a problem for most Republicans. According to a letter sent from the White House to legislators the measure “would incentivize and reward illegal immigration” without “protecting our communities and defending our borders.”In addition, the OMB estimated that the cost in public benefits to new legal citizens would be more than $30 billion.
Another point of contention was that GOPers wanted a measure included that prevented gang members from applying for the path to citizenship. The bill “should not give gang members a foothold in the U.S. by fast-tracking their green cards,” Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) said on the floor.
“I would ask my colleagues to spare me this false outrage,” said Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., according to Politico. “At the end of the day, there is no question that no one is interested in allowing gang members to benefit.”
So why not put that in the bill, sir? Why?
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) said of the bill “It does nothing to close loopholes or even enforce existing law,” he said. Gosar described the bill as a “disgrace.”
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)