WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The House passed two immigration bills on Thursday that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants living in the country.
The bills passed with overwhelming support and will now head to the Senate for a vote.
“I’m so excited about the Dreamers act,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Democrats applauded the bills — which would open a gateway to citizenship for more than 3 million undocumented immigrants including “Dreamers” and farm workers.
“This is their country, and they have gone to schools, they are participating in the United States military,” said Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA). “And the fact that they face fear every day of being deported is just not the right thing to do.”
But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized the bills for not doing enough.
“Do nothing to address the problem but ignores the problem and will actually worsen the situation,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy says the Biden administration should focus on securing the border rather than providing amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX) says any immigration policy needs to address both.
“It is an easy excuse to basically ignore the root cause,” said Escobar.
But as the two bills head to the Senate, their fate is uncertain.
“House Democrats are backing policies that would only exacerbate the wrong incentive,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Under current rules, both bills would need 60 votes to pass the upper chamber, which means Democrats need to get Republicans on board.
“We will have an opportunity to see if 10 Republican Senators can join us in an effort to finally pass it. I hope more,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).