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House Passes Bill That Could Help Path To Citizenship For Dreamers

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Bill Clark  CQ-Roll Call,Inc. via Getty Images FILE

Instead, the bill grants the opportunity to obtain green cards to illegal immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or, DACA) act - about 600,000 individuals - as well as others who entered the United States illegally as minors, a group that adds up to around 2.1 million people.

Thus in the present program was not provided a path to citizenship for "dreamers" - undocumented immigrants brought to the US children. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the US bishops' Committee on Migration, applauded the House of Representatives for passing the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 June 4, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for qualifying "Dreamers" as well as TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure holders.

"This represents a hopeful step closer to a brighter, stable future for many of us who call this country our home". Just 10 Democrats voted for the amendment, nine from districts Trump carried in 2016. "Though its passage comes much later than it should have, I am encouraged by today's vote". There were also internal squabbles among Republicans, a fight over immigration and, finally, after the Senate passed the bill last month, objections by a small handful of conservatives in the House who prevented the bill from passing while Congress was out of town for Memorial Day. "We must work together to pass a bill that addresses the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border and provides law enforcement agencies with the funding they need".

The Democratic bill would shield an estimated 2 million Dreamers from deportation if they meet certain criteria, and put them on a path to USA citizenship.

By a vote of 237-187, the Democratic-controlled House approved the legislation despite opposition from the White House, which said the move would "reward illegal immigration". The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill, and the White House also issued a veto threat against it. The analysts also said the House bill would cost more than $30 billion over the next decade, largely because numerous migrants attaining legal status would qualify for Medicaid and other federal benefits. Fifty-eight Republicans voted "no", including numerous party's most conservative members.

"If Democrats were serious about immigration, they would do something about the humanitarian and national security crisis along our southern border, but Speaker Pelosi has chosen to spend the House's time on H.R. 6, an expensive, partisan show vote", House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a statement.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that more than 2 million people already in the US would get legal status under the House bill. Though the legislation lacks the Trump administration's desired $4.5 billion for border wall funding and provides $900 million to Puerto Rico, the president previously agreed to the bill.

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