House won’t vote on Biden’s comprehensive immigration plan this month

“Biden, dejame entrar por favor” (Biden, please let me in) is written in Spanish on a cardboard box carried by a migrant girl. A group of migrants from different backgrounds made their way to the border crossing to ask the new U.S. government for asylum.

Stringer | picture alliance | Getty Images

The House will not vote this month on the comprehensive immigration bill backed by President Joe Biden, a Democratic aide told NBC News.

Democrats on Feb. 18 introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which would establish an eight-year path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, broaden legal immigration avenues, and reduce visa backlogs, among other provisions.

“I think the Biden comprehensive immigration proposal is important and serious. We need to engage in some consultations with key members and stakeholders, but I see no reason why we wouldn’t mark it up when we reconvene in April,” House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said in a statement to NBC.

The House will vote this month on standalone immigration bills reintroduced Wednesday that passed in the chamber in 2019.

The American Dream and Promise Act would create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and those with temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure. The latter two categories allow individuals from designated countries to stay in the U.S. due to conflict or unsafe conditions in their home country.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would create a pathway to citizenship to undocumented farm workers and reform the existing H-2A temporary agricultural work visa program.

“The Democratic House will pass these important bills and build on their progress with further action to honor our nation’s immigrant heritage and ensure America’s leadership in the world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Immigration advocates have pointed to the two bills as contenders for a piecemeal approach to legislation that could garner bipartisan support.

The Biden-backed U.S. Citizenship Act faces an uphill battle in Congress, particularly the Senate where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority. The legislation would require a minimum of 10 Republican votes to defeat a Senate filibuster and move the bill to a final vote on passage.

Still, advocates and Democratic lawmakers see the comprehensive package as a starting point to discuss immigration reform options.



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