It is estimated that “Tepesianos” contribute billions of dollars to the country’s economy.
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WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives, controlled by the Democrats, approved on Thursday two immigration reform bills to regularize about 4 million undocumented immigrants, mostly young people known as “dreamers” and farm workers.
The attempted regularization coincides with a sharp increase in the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and migrant families on the southern border, which has served as a pretext for much of the Republican opposition to reject the projects.
The first initiative, focused on “dreamers”, was approved with 228 votes in favor (all Democrats and 9 Republicans) and 197 against.
“Dreamers”, peasants and TPS
According to estimates by its promoters, more than 2 million young people who were brought to the country when they were minors by their parents and who are known as “dreamers” or “dreamers” could benefit from this reform that establishes a path towards nationalization.
Former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) first approved a temporary regularization for these young people in 2012, but Republicans took it to court and since then it has been subjected to a long legal battle.
Besides the “dreamers”, the bill also provides a path to citizenship for TPS (Temporary Protected Status), some programs that benefit some 400,000 people, mostly Central Americans and Haitians affected by natural disasters or civil conflicts.
The second bill put to the vote and with the focus on farmworkers received 247 votes in favor – including 30 Republicans – and 174 against – one of them Democrat.
This second initiative could be used to regularize about 1 million peasants and their families.
“The solution to part of the problem”
The number two of the Democrats in the Lower House, Steny Hoyer, said that “these two bills are not the solution, but they are the solution to part of the problem.
These two measures are part of the great immigration reform that the White House is promoting in Congress and that aims to regularize 11 million immigrants without papers.
Democrats have opted to present the reform in parts as a strategy to receive more support from the opposition.
However, the situation at the border, where nearly 14,000 minors who have crossed alone from Mexico remain in the custody of the United States Government, has starred in much of the debate.
“With what’s happening on the border today, it’s probably the worst time Democrats could offer to do this,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who traveled to the border this week.
In addition, the two documents that received the green light this Thursday are versions very similar to two bills that the Lower House already approved in 2019 but that did not pass the Senate, then under Republican control.
Now Democrats do dominate the Senate, but their short majority requires at least 10 Republicans to pass meaningful reforms., an unlikely scenario at the moment.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that “there is no road at all right now.”
In this way, immigration measures would be condemned to add to the pile of bills that Democrats have approved in the Lower House since the president, Joe Biden, took office two months ago but that Republicans block in the Senate.
Among the other accumulated projects, there is also an electoral reform, arms control measures, labor legislation or initiatives against discrimination against the LGTBI group.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.