The U.S. House is this week taking up two major legalization bills creating paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants with temporary protections, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and undocumented farmworkers who feed the nation.
Both the Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed during the previous Congress, but were blocked in the Republican-controlled Senate. USA Today reports legislators and advocates now hope the hugely popular paths become an opening to securing legalization for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, as also proposed by President Joe Biden.
“’We want to achieve a breakthrough in the next few months,’ said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, and the organization’s ‘strategy is to push for the things that can pass in the House,’” USA Today reported. “If those bills pass, it could create momentum to take up the full comprehensive immigration reform proposed by Biden, he said.”
Recent polling has continued to confirm massive, bipartisan support behind legalizing DACA recipients, as well as farmworkers and undocumented essential workers. “The survey found the DREAM Act to have 72% support, citizenship for undocumented farmworkers to have 71% support, and citizenship for undocumented essential workers to have 66% support,” polling conducted by Global Strategy Group, Garin-Hart-Yang, and LD, Insights in partnership with FWD.us and America’s Voice found.
Researchers found that voters, including a majority of the Democratic base, would be upset if permanent relief didn’t pass Congress.
“Nearly two-thirds (63%) of voters say they would be upset if immigration reform does not pass and undocumented immigrants remain vulnerable to deportation, while just 37% say they would be happy with that outcome,” researchers said. “Notably, 75% of Latinos say they would be upset, including 38% who say they would be very upset by this outcome. The Democratic base would also be upset over inaction (86% upset; 42% very upset).”
Both the Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the previous Congress with Republican votes, but the Senate will be challenging even as polling also finds an overall path to citizenship popular among voters. “Biden’s immigration bill probably will face an uphill battle in Congress, particularly in a Senate split 50-50 where all Democrats and at least 10 Republicans would need to vote in favor of the bill to avoid a filibuster,” USA Today continued.
During a recent call hosted by America’s Voice, DACA recipient and Coloradan Marissa Molina said “Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to allow Dreamers and TPS holders the ability to earn citizenship and honor our long-standing contributions to Colorado.”