Democratic Senate aides have confirmed that there is an urgency among Democrats to pass new citizenship laws in favor of “Dreamers” in light of a federal judge’s ruling that blocked roughly 500,000 to 700,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program and receiving protection from deportation.
Democrats plan to include a pathway for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, and essential workers in their $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation package, which is set for a vote tomorrow. Reconciliation would allow the Democrats to pass these protections with just a simple majority.
However, there is a chance that the Senate Parliamentarian could say that immigration changes can’t be passed through a budget reconciliation process.
“Congress cannot wait any longer … Senate Democrats need to provide a permanent legislation for the dreamers. We need to act swiftly,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
“I’m always open to bipartisan talks and maybe there will be some movement after this Texas decision, but it has not been encouraging,” Durbin said.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va) has said that he has no problem including immigration as part of the reconciliation process.
“I’m a 2013 immigration supporter. You can look at the 2013 bill and I thought that was a great bill. If we had that bill then, we wouldn’t have the problems we’d have today,” he said, referring to a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 but never passed the House.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.