House Passes Bill to Protect 'Dreamers.' The White House Has Threatened a Veto
The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would provide legal protections for "Dreamers"—undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—and to immigrants who came to the country under temporary humanitarian protections.
The American Dream and Promise Act would cover about 2.5 million people, addressing a major policy priority for Democrats with effects for teachers students and teachers in the country's schools. But the bill will likely never make it to the GOP-controlled Senate floor, President Donald Trump's advisers have already said they recommend that he veto the bill.
The bill passed 237-187.
House Democrats spoke in favor of the bill, telling stories of people like educators who would be proteted by its provisions.
"We cannot afford to lose or hinder their talents, resilience, and contributions to our nation, said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a California Democrat.
But Trump, and congressional Republicans, have said they won't move on immigration proposals unless they are included in a broader bill that addresses other issues, like border security.
"In contrast, H.R. 6 would only exacerbate illegal immigration and the exploitation of our immigration laws by incentivizing more illegal behavior while doing nothing to address the problems at our southern border or broader immigration enforcement efforts," the administration's Office of Management and Budget said in a Monday statement. "H.R. 6 would also continue the cycle of our broken immigration system that encourages people to break the law at the expense of those who follow the rules."
Those covered by the bill would include recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a temporary protection President Barack Obama extended to qualifying DREAMers. Trump moved to end those protections in 2017, but courts have kept them at least partially intact. The bill would also apply to recipients of temporary protected status because of conditions in their home countries, which include El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, and Liberians in the United States through a program called deferred enforced departure.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates that a quarter-million students have become DACA-eligible since the program in 2012. About 37,000 teachers and teachers' assistants who are protected under DACA, DREAMers, or recipients of humanitarian protections would be covered by the bill, the organization estimates.
Photo: Demonstrators rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) during a rally outside of the Capitol on Jan. 21 in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
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