WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The US House is poised to pass two immigration bills that could provide legal permanent protections for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Democrats say the pandemic shows just how important these immigrant are to the US, but the situation at the US-Mexico border will make it even more difficult for these proposals to actually become law.
“Farmworkers are getting infected and dying from COVID at a much higher rate than the general public. They are literally dying to feed you,” Congressman Raul Ruiz of California said. He said farmworkers deserve a path to legal residency and citizenship.
That’s why House Democrats say it’s urgent to pass the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Along with the Dream and Promise Act, it provides a path to permanent legal residency and citizenship to farm workers and DACA recipients.
“Dreamers are doctors, nurses, lab technicians, contact tracers and job creators,” Ruiz said.
California Rep. Jim Costa said the two bills would grant legal status to almost half of the undocumented immigrants in the US.
He said these bills would provide a “hope for a normal life free from the dread of family separation and deportation.”
The two proposal already had minimal chances of passing in the tightly divided Senate — and that’s made even more difficult by the current situation along the southern border.
Republican leaders say now is the wrong time to provide amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
“The United States now has an unprecedented 13,000 migrant children in custody,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added, “Either this is the first time FEMA has been deployed just to admire a situation that is going smoothly or the administration is not being straight with the American people.”