For the first time in decades, it appears Congress is on the precipice of passing comprehensive immigration reform. The move would open a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the country.
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee passed a portion of the budget reconciliation bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act, which includes provisions related to immigration reform.
According to Center for American Progress, the immigration provisions in the reconciliation bill would allow 6.9 million undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship. The bill could also create over 400,000 new jobs and potentially grow the country’s gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion.
In a press conference about the committee’s approval of immigration reform in the reconciliation bill, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Rep. Zoe Lofgren spoke about the economic boon that would happen if this package becomes law. “This package will provide a real shot in the arm for our economy,” said Lofgren.
Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso, who is also on the Judiciary Committee, spoke about the potential of passing immigration reform. “We are providing permanent residence for America’s Dreamers, temporary protected status holders, and essential workers and giving them a pathway to citizenship and what that would do for our country is [open] up our economy.”
There are some additional hurdles before the budget reconciliation bill can come up for a vote in the Senate. Chiefly, the Senate parliamentarian needs to rule that the immigration language can be included in the bill. She recently asked for some additional information ahead of her judgment. At the press conference, Lofgren said she is hopeful that the Senate parliamentarian will allow the immigration provisions to be included in the budget reconciliation bill.
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