Thursday, July 18, 2024

House Committee approves immigration language for reconciliation bill

This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the immigration language for the reconciliation bill being used for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending plan, which the party hopes to approve without any Republican support.

The proposal gives shape to what had previously been an abstract push to grant a pathway to citizenship to millions of undocumented people who are either undocumented or cannot currently apply for permanent status. Under the proposal, nearly 8 million DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and undocumented essential workers will be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

The bill also includes language on reclaiming unused visas, which can allow the Biden administration to speed up traditional legal immigration channels while granting the 8 million new legal permanent residencies.

Republicans opposed, among many other aspects of the legislation. The 14-hour session of the Judiciary Committee underscored the deep divisions between the parties, and the willingness of both sides to stick to their message. Meanwhile, Democrats expressed frustration over Republican attempts to bait them into debates on a whole array of issues, sometimes directly related to the immigration provisions, sometimes not.

Representative Lou Correa, “The Democratic strategy has been, ‘don’t take the bait. This is not about immigration. This is about economics in the reconciliation package, and how this topic of DREAMers, TPS, essential workers are part of the economic picture in the U.S.”