Congress

“There’s no pathway for anything”

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

House Democrats are voting today on creating a path to citizenship for two different sets of immigrants.

One measure will create a path to citizenship for young immigrants who've benefitted from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The other measure will create a path to citizenship for farm workers who are essential to our economy and food supply chain, but it probably won't surprise you that Republicans will not support the legislation for essential workers who feed us.

House Republicans have whipped votes against the measure and Senate Republicans say they won't support anything.

House Republican leaders said they were urging their rank-and-file to vote against the bill. But Democrats were banking on garnering enough votes for passage even if Republicans do not help them.

“There’s no pathway for anything right now,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Senate prospects for the Dreamers bill. [...]

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell panned the House efforts on Thursday, calling the approach an “amnesty plan that would create a special new pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants working in certain industries.” This, he said, would exacerbate the problems at the border.

Senator Graham was referring to this specific legislation, but to say there's "no pathway for anything right now" helpfully illustrates the GOP's entire strategy of non-governance. It's their approach to virtually everything.

I'm sure some people will disagree, but I believe passing immigration reform is one issue that would be worth the risk of eliminating the legislative filibuster. Because if we don't do it now, then when?

Electorally -- and for the purposes of keeping control of Congress next year -- focusing on the economy and infrastructure is probably more important than immigration reform, but setting the issue aside until 2023 or even 2025 after the next presidential election leaves too much room for Republicans to abuse the system when they're in power again.

There's zero doubt in my mind that Republicans will continue what Trump started if laws aren't changed to prevent it.