The U.S. House of Representatives again approved this Thursday an immigration bill that seeks to regularize millions of undocumented young people known as “dreamers” and hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of the TPS (Temporary Protected Status) programs.
The bill was approved with 228 votes in favor (all Democrats and 9 Republicans) and 197 against.
According to estimates of its promoters, some 2.5 million young people who were brought to the country when they were minors by their parents and who are known as “dreamers” could benefit from this reform that establishes a path to naturalization.
Former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) first approved in 2012 a temporary regularization for these young people, but Republicans took it to court and since then it has been subject to a long legal battle.
In addition to the “Dreamers”, the bill also provides a path to citizenship for TPS, a program that benefits some 400,000 people, mostly Central Americans and Haitians affected by natural disasters or civil conflict.
The document approved on Thursday is a version very similar to a bill the Lower House had approved in 2019 but didn’t pass the Senate, then under Republican control.
Now the Democrats do dominate the Senate, but its eventual passage requires at least 10 Republicans to also support it, which is uncertain at this time.
This bill is a piece of the great immigration reform that the White House is pushing in Congress, which foresees the regularization of 11 million immigrants without papers.
Also part of this reform is a second bill that the Lower House is expected to vote on today that seeks to regularize agricultural workers.
However, the leader of the Republicans in the Lower House, Kevin McCarthy, alluded to the current situation at the border with the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and migrant families to justify his opposition to the measure.
“With what’s happening today at the border it’s probably the worst time the Democrats could offer to do this,” McCarthy said.