With the White House and Congress under their control, Democrats hope to legalize at least some of the estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States – a long-awaited goal that Americans broadly support.
A new poll conducted January 29 through February 1 by Vox and Data for Progress (DFP) found that a majority of 1,124 likely voters and an overwhelming percentage of Democrats were “strong” or “somewhat” in favor of one Providing path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants by and large (69 percent and 86 percent, respectively). That support rises to 72 percent of likely voters and 87 percent of Democrats if you ask them specifically about “dreamers” brought to the United States as children. These results are in line with other recent legalization surveys, including one conducted by Pew in June 2020.
As part of his proposal for major immigration reform, President Joe Biden has called for the creation of an eight-year path to citizenship for immigrants who were in the United States on or before January 1, 2021 and who can pass a background check and pay taxes.
However, it is unlikely to survive in its current form as it would have to get 10 Republican votes to continue in the Senate – where some members have already declared it a “mass amnesty” and criticized the lack of border security regulations – unless Democrats can eliminate the filibuster. While Republican statements generally do not reflect Americans’ stance on legalizing undocumented immigrants, polls have shown the public to be in favor of certain measures to increase border security, including increasing the number of border guards.
Piecewise legislation to legalize at least some groups of undocumented immigrants might have a better chance of surviving.
First introduced in 2001 and reportedly reintroduced this week, the DREAM Act would give the estimated 3.6 million DREAMers living in the US the option of temporary protection from deportation, then a green card and after five years to apply for citizenship. That includes the more than 700,000 already protected from deportation under the Delayed Action Program on the Arrival of Obama-Era Children.
The proposal has received bipartisan support in Congress in the past, but it is not clear whether Republicans will sign it this time around.
A group of 100 lawmakers, spearheaded by the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, has also called for legislation providing a path to citizenship for the estimated 5 million undocumented vital workforce in industries such as meat packaging, agriculture and grocery. You have urged the Democratic leadership to include the proposal in a budget vote package that could be passed by a simple Senate majority without a single Republican vote.
The poll found that 64 percent of likely voters and 83 percent of Democrats support the proposal, but House lawmakers have so far failed to include the provision in their reconciliation plan. As an alternative, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is also working on a stand-alone bill that will offer key workers a five-year path to citizenship.
Immigrant advocates see legislative legalization as imperative and urge Biden to do whatever he can to unless Republican demands to strengthen immigration enforcement and border security make major concessions. It seems that public opinion is on their side.
Americans also support stimulus payments for families with mixed status
Legalization aside, the Biden government is also pushing to offer $ 1,200 stimulus checks to all households with mixed immigration status, including many households excluded from previous coronavirus aid packages.
This means that every U.S. citizen or green card holder is entitled to a stimulus review, even if they filed a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse or are dependent on an undocumented person. According to the poll, 64 percent of likely voters and 83 percent of Democrats either “strongly” or “somewhat” support the proposal.
The impact would be significant: an estimated one 16.7 million People across the country live in mixed status households, including 8.2 million US-born or naturalized citizens. This number includes those who were protected from deportation during the Obama era Delayed Action Program for the Arrival of Children, Children and young adults whose parents often do not have legal status.
Mixed status households were initially excluded from stimulus relief until Congress intervened in December to provide citizens and green card holders who filed joint tax returns with an undocumented spouse with a check for $ 600 and $ 600 per dependent to enable. As with the first stimulus tests, benefits have been discontinued for individuals earning more than $ 75,000 and couples earning more than $ 150,000.
In addition, households with at least one family member with a Social Security Number could receive retrospective checks for up to $ 1,200 plus an additional $ 500 per child under the Social Security Number previous round of stimulus relief Issued at the end of March.
But even then, some families of mixed status were denied relief. For example, children of undocumented immigrants with US citizens did not receive stimulus checks. Biden’s plan would correct that, but it would stop sending stimulus checks directly to undocumented immigrants – a prospect 56 percent of likely voters oppose, a previous Vox / DFP poll found.
While negotiations on the next aid package for Covid-19 continue, it is not clear whether Biden’s proposal will ultimately be included in the final bill. Republicans have tried to narrow down the categories of people eligible for stimulus checks and Biden favors a bipartisan aid package, but Democrats could do it on their own by running a budget vote. According to another poll by Vox and Data for Progress, most Americans support the quick passage of an aid package, even if it means bypassing Republicans.
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