House Democrats ignored a veto threat from the White House on Tuesday and went on to pass the controversial immigration bill that would allow an estimated 2 million migrants to become U.S. citizens.
The Democratic-led House approved the immigration bill by a vote of 237 to 187, with 230 votes from Democrats and seven votes from Republicans. It is noteworthy to mention that no Democrats voted against the measure, while seven Republicans crossed the party line. This means the legislation is now waiting for the Republican-controlled Senate for approval, which is unlikely to happen considering the White House has already issued a veto threat against it. Although the bill stands virtually no chance of enactment at all, it does let Democrats showcase their efforts on one of their highest-profile agendas.
Known as the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, the proposal allows young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, including those shielded from deportation by Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, a chance to become permanent U.S. citizens, if certain requirements are met.
The new bill would also let hundreds of thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients as well as Liberian immigrants that are covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) an opportunity for permanent citizenship. The suggested legislation would give DACA recipients (and other young undocumented immigrants) conditional U.S. permanent residency for 10 years if they meet certain criteria. DED and TPS recipients would also get permanent residency if they have resided in the U.S. for more than three years and have no felony convictions or misdemeanors.
The Trump administration has been trying to dismantle the DACA program, which was instituted by President Obama in 2012 through executive action, since 2017. The government has been blocked by four circuit courts which have stopped them from completely dismantling the program. In addition, requests to the Supreme Court this week by the Justice Department to fast-track their consideration of the legal battle surrounding DACA were denied.
The bill would also make it more difficult for the president to meet his goal of terminating TPS protections for more than 300,000 immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal, Honduras, Sudan, and Nicaragua and for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end TPS designations for countries. Currently, the U.S. government allows almost 700,000 DREAMers (DACA recipients) to renew their protections for a two-year period.
Although the bill has a very slim chance of passing the Senate vote, House Democrats think that the fact that they even got one of their signature legislative issues passed should indicate that they will continue to use their majority in the House to push through legislation without intimidation.
~ Conservative Zone