(CNN) — House Democrats are expected to vote on two separate immigration bills on Thursday, marking the first time Congress will vote on a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants since Democrats won slim majorities in both houses. of Congress with President Joe Biden in the White House.
The House will vote on HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California. This bill would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers”, as well as beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and beneficiaries of Deferred Forced Departure. The legislation provides that up to 4.4 million people will be eligible for permanent residence, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
The House is also scheduled to vote on HR1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the bipartisan legislation of Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington. The bill would allow farmworkers, and their spouses and children, to obtain legal status through continued employment in the agricultural sector, and would make changes to the H-2A guest farmworker program.
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Both bills have already been approved by the House in previous years, but are being voted on again with the Democrats with a slim majority in the House and Senate. Both are expected to be re-approved by the House, but it is possible that they will hit a wall in the Senate.
The chances that these bills will garner enough Republican support to reach 60 votes in the Senate are very low, renewing the debate among Democrats about ending filibuster. That would allow the legislation to pass with a lower voting threshold, but it also seems unlikely to happen.
Democrats face increasing scrutiny over their handling of immigration amid a recent spike in border crossings that Republicans have argued is a serious crisis.
House Republicans have been beating the Biden administration over the influx of migrants crossing the border in recent weeks, including the large increase in unaccompanied minors making the trip to the United States.
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Immigrants believe Biden’s government will be more welcoming
Many of the migrants crossing the border have said they believe the Biden administration will be more welcoming than the Trump administration, which took a tougher stance.
It’s more than a crisis. It’s human anguish, ”House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a news conference on a trip to the border this week.
“The sad thing about all this is that it didn’t have to happen. This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration. There’s no other way to call it than a Biden border crisis. “
The momentum to pass these two bills will give House Democrats a chance to say that they are working to advance immigration reform, but questions remain about the fate of broader efforts to reform the immigration system. the nation.
And while some progressive Democrats would have liked to see comprehensive immigration reform legislation in place of these two piecemeal bills, other Democrats have spilled cold water on the idea, underscoring how difficult it would be to pass a broader immigration package.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin told CNN earlier this week that he does not believe there is enough support in this Congress to pass a full-blown immigration bill with a path to citizenship for 11 million people. undocumented immigrants, a key pillar of Biden’s immigration plan.
“I don’t see a way to achieve that,” said the Illinois Democrat. “I love you. But I think we are much more likely to deal with discrete elements. ‘
Referring to the House of Representatives effort to push through 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.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism