In yet another step away from the Trump era, on Thursday, the U.S. House passed legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of so-called Dreamers, meaning undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A full 228 members of the House, including nine Republicans, voted in favor of the legislation, with 197 House members against the move.
In total, the legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for about 2.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Next, the bill would need to pass in the Senate, but under current rules, most legislation requires 60 votes in the 100-member chamber before moving to a vote, so ten Republicans would have to get onboard with the current party breakdown in place.
Numerous prominent figures have called for reforming the rule that allows such a block to take place, and recently, even President Joe Biden expressed support for reforming the procedure, which is known as the filibuster rule. Instead of allowing 40 members of the minority party to establish their opposition to moving to a vote and be done with it, Biden proposed requiring Senators to talk in order to sustain their opposition and block the legislation from moving forward. Once they stopped talking, another Senator could move in and move to move forward with the legislative process, allowing the processes of democracy to continue.
As summarized by The Wall Street Journal, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) “has said he believes a narrower bipartisan deal on Dreamers stands the greatest chance of getting done in the next year,” and to that end, he’s been “talking to Republicans to test their support for such a bill, which he has co-sponsored with” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the publication adds.
Graham has been among the Republicans vocally complaining about recent influxes of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border, although he’s failed to meaningfully acknowledge the fact that the Trump administration left behind a broken system. Instead of, for instance, prioritizing improving the U.S. ability to process arriving migrants, the Trump administration spent huge sums of government cash to put up pieces of so-called wall in the middle of the desert.