The House of Representatives approved a bill that would protect 2.5 million DREAMers and immigrants and gives them a path to citizenship but the bill is not expected to be passed in the Senate nor signed by President Trump.
The bill was passed 237 to 187 Tuesday, with seven Republicans joining all Democrats to approve the legislation. The bill would create a new pathway to citizenship for people brought to the US illegally as children and for those with Temporary Protected Status, which is given to immigrants whose countries have been hit by natural disasters or violence.
The bill is “almost certain to die in the Republican-led Senate,” The New York Times reported, and the White House vowed that Trump would veto the bill even if it did.
GOP slams Democrats despite past bipartisan support:
Some Republicans complained that the bill would “grant amnesty” and would “provide more incentive” for people to enter the country illegally, The Times reported.
“This bill does nothing to address our crisis. Instead, it tells an entire generation of illegal immigrants that breaking our laws is rewarded,” said Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, adding that Democrats “would rather reward illegal immigrants than secure our borders, enforce our laws and fix this crisis.”
But the bill comes after years of negotiations with Trump and Congressional Republicans over a plan that “would have done both, pairing legal status for the Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status holders with money for a border wall. The negotiations broke down repeatedly, even amid signs that such a measure would have had enough bipartisan support to pass,” The Times reported.
“Because of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, millions of immigrants across the country live in constant fear that they will face deportation and potentially be separated from their families,” New York Democrat Nydia Velázquez said on the House floor. “Let’s send a strong message to the world that we recognize that immigrants make America America.”
Millions of immigrants left in limbo:
While the bill “sends a message,” its inevitable demise does nothing for the millions of immigrants worried about being deported.
After negotiations for the DREAM Act fell apart during the Obama administration, Obama signed an executive order to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protected about 700,000 immigrants brought to the US illegally as children.
Trump moved to rescind DACA in 2017 but was blocked by the courts. The issue is expected to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
The Trump administration also terminated Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Tuesday’s bill would protect about 300,000 of these status holders from deportation.