On Thursday the House of Representatives passed a sweeping immigration reform bill that seeks to legalize millions of illegal immigrants and offer them a path to citizenship permanently.
The Dream and Promise Act, which would protect more than 3 million “Dreamers” from deportation and help others gain legal status, passed in House by vote of 228-197. Nine Republicans joined every House Democrat in voting for the bill.
The Democrats didn’t stop there.
Another bill, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, also passed on Thursday by a 247-174 vote. Only one Democrat voted against the bill while 30 Republicans voted for it. If signed into law, the bill would protect over 1 million undocumented farm or agricultural workers and their families from deportation.
Joe Biden not only backed the pair of bills, but urged Congress to do more. The White House has recommended a total immigration overhaul that looks to create a path toward citizenship for up to 12 million illegal immigrants.
However, Republican leaders have panned the bill as yet another liberal magnet that attracts hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undocumented immigrants to the southern border.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act did receive more bipartisanship support. Republican lawmakers view the bill as a way to stabilize the agricultural workforce and as a way to phase in mandatory E-verify system for all farm employment.
Legislation to protect Dreamers has received GOP support in the past, but rhetoric surrounding immigration has become much more contentious. Republicans believe that Joe Biden’s softening on the border and his Executive Orders are creating an untenable crisis at the southern border.
Republicans argue that now is not the time to focus on amnesty while a surge of crime inflicts America’s borders. GOP Leaders are urging Congress to take up more border security measures.
The Dream Act and farmworker bills now head to the Senate where they would need 60 votes to advance.