On Thursday, the House voted to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, a bill to provide a path to citizenship for estimated 11M immigrants without papers brought to America as minors, with 9 House Republicans breaking with the recommendation of their leadership, voting for the bill and sending it to the President Joe Biden’s desk.
Joined by Nine Republicans, all House Democrats voted to approve the Act, which passed by a vote of 228-197.
The Democratic-led House also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by 247-174 to grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of farm-workers living in America without authorization. Thirty GOPs voted in favor of the bill, and only one Democrat voted against it. Mr. Biden also supported both Acts. That bill would support another 1M immigrant agriculture employees and their families to stay legally in America.
If signed into law, the American Dream and Promise Act would make recipients of the Barack Obama-period Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and other undocumented immigrants brought to the state before 18 years of age eligible to apply for Ten years of conditional permanent residence if they satisfy several requirements.
The proposal would allow temporary or permanent legal status and stop deportations for over 2.3M Dreamers or undocumented immigrants and participants in specific humanitarian programs while providing them a chance at American citizenship.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, said Thursday during a press conference that the bill would tell the world that they are making a significant difference in how they respect the United States’ beautiful diversity.
Nine Republicans who voted to pass the bill include.
- Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.)
- Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
- Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)
- Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)
- Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
- Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who also voted for the bill when it was preceded in 2019
- Freshmen Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.)
- Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.)
- David Valadao (R-Calif.)
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise had recommended a NO vote, criticizing the bill as placing the interests of those who violated American immigration law above the interests of those who anticipated and noting it concerns more immigrants than Obama’s DACA program.
The daughter of Cuban exiles, Maria Elvira Salazar, who spent thirty-five years as a Spanish-language journalist covering Central American conflicts, the border crises, and immigration issues affecting her community in Miami, FL, told reporters that it is not a perfect bill by asking, what happens with the parents?
However, she said that she voted for the bill to send the right message to the Democrats that she is ready to work with them.
Rep. Salazar has proposed her competing immigration plan, which would protect Dreamers while strengthening the border security. Congresswoman Salazar stated she intends to invite every single Democrat who has a Spanish surname to meet with her to talk about it.
Moreover, the House also voted along party lines to reject a Republican motion that would make any immigrant who is or remained a member of a criminal street gang or associated in the movements of a criminal street gang ineligible while accelerating their deportations.
Moreover, when asked if any Democrats spoke to her after the vote, Salazar said, ‘No, because Pelosi does not let them.’ She accused Democrats of posturing with the bill and making fun of her community by not crafting a plan to earn more bi-partisan backing.
The bill is not likely to pass the Senate, given that Democrats would require at least ten Senate GOPs to cross the aisle and vote for it to bypass a delay.