The House on Thursday passed a bill that would, among other immigration-related policies, provide a pathway for individuals enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship.
The bill advanced along a near party-line vote of 228-197 — with nine Republicans breaking party ranks to vote in support of the legislation — and faces long odds in the Senate, where leaders on both sides of the aisle have conceded that advancing legislation concerning any tinkering or overhaul of the U.S. immigration system would face long odds at enactment.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recently told reporters that neither chamber had enough support for a “comprehensive” immigration bill and would instead aim to “deal with discrete elements.” Such an effort could include an attempt to advance the Dream Act, which was included in the bill, H.R. 6 (117), just passed by the House.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who backed previous versions of Durbin’s Dream Act, also conceded that the politics of immigration “is too out of control” for a compromise.
Previous versions of the House bill have also garnered bipartisan support, but so long as the 60-vote threshold remains in place for the Senate, enactment of narrow immigration bills that have garnered bipartisan support are likely to remain elusive for this session.
NASFAA previously joined dozens of other higher education groups in a letter in support of the Dream Act of 2021. The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), calls on Congress to act swiftly in passing the legislation to protect DACA recipients. The piece of legislation is narrow in focus and differs from the comprehensive immigration reform proposal put forward recently by the Biden administration, which also calls for a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Publication Date: 3/19/2021