The US House of Representatives voted to pass two bills that will grant a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country when they were children and for some migrant farmers.
Thursday’s legislative efforts are part of House Democrats’ bigger endeavour to pass President Joe Biden’s broad package to overhaul a broken immigration system for which the administration and congressional Democrats blamed on the Donald Trump administration.
The Dream and Promise Act, which passed 228-197 with just nine Republican defections, would allow the so-called “Dreamers”, unauthorised immigrants who came to the US as minors, as well as beneficiaries of certain temporary humanitarian programs to apply for permanent legal status and eventually become US citizens.
If the bill gets approved by the Senate, Democrats will achieve the long-sought goal of delivering on their promise of legal status to the “Dreamers”.
In 2012, former President Barack Obama issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM ACT) failed to pass in Congress several times.
The young people impacted by the DACA and the DREAM Act are often referred to as “Dreamers”.
Also on Thursday, the House passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by a 247-174 vote, with 30 Republicans voting in support and one Democrat against.
The bill would offer a path for seasonal migrant farmworkers to get a US green card, and ultimately citizenship.