The House is expected to vote Thursday on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, but the bill would leave millions of undocumented immigrants without a path to citizenship and would dramatically reduce the number of legal immigrants in the country.
As the House takes up the measure, Republicans are taking aim at a key Democratic demand that the Senate pass a similar bill before sending it to President Donald Trump.
Republicans have repeatedly threatened to block the Senate bill unless it’s identical to the House version, which they say would be the “same bill, except it’s not a piece of legislation.”
The House bill, introduced last week by Reps.
Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Ruben Gallego (D/D-Ariz.), Jared Poliz, R-Ariza., David Schweikert, R -Ariz., Jared Pols, R/D -Ariza.
,and Mark Meadows, R /WY, is the first major piece of a sweeping GOP-backed package that would expand the number who can qualify for temporary legal status and increase border security measures.GOP leaders have already promised to vote to repeal the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship to some young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D -Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D /Md.) have also called for the repeal of the DACA.GOP leadership is expected on Thursday to unveil their own version of the Senate’s version of an immigration overhaul that could be even more draconian than the House bill.
“We’re going to go after the Daca Act, the DAPA, the Dream Act, everything that we can to make sure we’re not taking away the work that millions of young people and their families have done in our country,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters in an interview Thursday.
Ryan, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, is also expected to unveil a bill Thursday that would repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to America illegally as kids and allow them to obtain permanent legal status.
It’s a key plank of the GOP platform that the party has long pushed for.
Ryan said the GOP’s immigration policy was more of a “catch-all” for the GOP, while Democrats have called the GOP “a party of amnesty” and “a group of xenophobes” who want to “send more people back to their home countries.”
The GOP plan would end the Defacto DACA program, which grants temporary legal residency to people who were previously deported from the U-S., and instead extend protections to more than 11 million people who are living illegally in the U.-S.
That plan is a big step toward repealing the DSA, a policy that was established under former President Barack Obama.
It would also give states the option to provide DACA recipients with a path back to the country where they came from.
The program, along with the DACS program, was established in 2010 under then-President George W. Bush.
Trump, a staunch opponent of DACA, has threatened to repeal DACA and DAPAs if Congress does not pass the legislation.
Ryan and his Republican colleagues on the House Ways & Means Committee are expected to introduce their own DACA legislation on Thursday.
The House passed a similar House version of a bill in May.