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5 Jun, 2019 03:03

Grand gesture: Dems pass migrant amnesty with zero hope of becoming law

Grand gesture: Dems pass migrant amnesty with zero hope of becoming law

House Democrats have passed an immigration bill creating a path to citizenship for 'dreamers' – illegals brought into the country as children. Like its numerous forbears, the bill is effectively doomed to never become law.

All 230 House Democrats and seven Republicans voted to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, which would give 'dreamers' 10 years of legal residence status as long as they had not committed any crime more serious than a traffic violation while in the US illegally. They would receive a green card after two years of military service or college, or three years of work.

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The measure would also extend residency to aliens with "temporary protected status" from war-torn or disaster-ravaged countries including Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador, and to Liberians classed as "deferred enforced departure." Both groups could apply for green cards if they passed background checks and had lived in the US for three years, becoming eligible for citizenship five years after obtaining the green card.

"There should be nothing partisan or political about this legislation," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a news conference after the vote, which according to the Washington Post was marked by cheering and chants of "Yes we can."

"We are proud to pass it, we hope, in a bipartisan way."

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has shown no indication he will take up the Senate's version of the bill, which was introduced in March, however. The Republican-controlled chamber rejected four other dreamer amnesty bills last year, and the chances of President Donald Trump signing legislation that reinstates Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, which he cancelled in 2017, while Democrats continue to obstruct his border wall, are approximately zero.

House Republicans also cast doubt on the bill's future, pointing out that while the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost over $30 billion, no plan had been put forth to pay for it. Minority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) complained, "Speaker Pelosi has chosen to spend the House's time on HR 6, an expensive, partisan show vote."

Rep. Douglas Collins (R-GA) worried the measure would bring even more migrants streaming into the country, lamenting "Democrats are making us consider a bill to worsen the border crisis by incentivizing more people to cross our borders illegally in hopes of getting a piece of the amnesty pie."

And while the bill's lead sponsor, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), gushed that it was "the first time the Dream Act will be passed by a chamber of Congress as a top Democratic priority," the Democratic rank and file were somewhat less than impressed, if their tweets were any indication.

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