June 5, 2019

On Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives passed legislation that will not only protect Dreamers, but provide them with a path to citizenship that Trump and Republicans are so determined to deny them. The vote was 237-187, with Democrats voting unanimously in favor of the bill, and 7 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with them. As Rachel Maddow reported:

MADDOW: Again, just before we got on the air tonight, the House voted to -- overwhelmingly to pass legislation to protect the dreamers. And of course Republicans are not having it. The Republicans voted overwhelmingly against it. Only seven Republicans siding with the Democrats on this. But still, the Democrats run the House, they got an overwhelming majority. Republicans won't do anything with it. Mitch McConnell won't let the Senate vote on it. President Trump will never sign it. But the Democratic-led House is showing the kind of policy and the kind of legislation that they value and that they would pursue and that makes up their governing agenda. And if there is a democratic Senate elected in 2020, they're saying basically, look, we already teed this up with an overwhelming vote, now you guys pass it, this is ready to go.

According to USA Today,

The bill passed on Tuesday is one of the most expansive versions yet, protecting a large group of "Dreamers," as well as other undocumented immigrants who have been the target of the Trump administration. That includes protections for:

  • Some 674,000 "Dreamers" who qualified for the Obama-era DACA program. President Donald Trump tried to end the program in 2017, but federal judges have blocked him from doing so in a confrontation that may end up before the Supreme Court.
  • An additional 1.5 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children but did not qualify or apply for DACA, according to an estimate compiled by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute.
  • More than 400,000 recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a program that has allowed foreigners to legally live and work in the U.S. while their home countries recover from armed conflicts and natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security has tried to phase out those protections, but has been blocked by federal courts.
  • Hundreds of Liberians who have been allowed to live and work in the U.S. under a version of TPS known as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
  • It may seem pointless for a Democratic-led House of Representatives to pass any legislation at all, since everyone knows it's going to go nowhere in the McTurtle-led Republican Senate. It's anything but pointless, though, since it demonstrates that Democrats can get things done. They can get down into the weeds of hammering out details, working out compromises, and setting priorities. And if the Senate Republicans let it die, like they have over fifty pieces of legislation the House has passed since January? Well, that's on the Senate Republicans, isn't it? All the more reasons to go to the polls in 2020 and vote the bastards out.

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