A hundred or so House Democrats are asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to include what critics are calling amnesty for some illegal immigrants in the COVID relief package currently being hammered out in Congress, Breitbart reports.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is heading up the group of House Democrats who sent a letter to Pelosi over the weekend seeking amnesty for at least 5 million illegal immigrants deemed “essential workers” who are recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.
“As you continue to work on assembling a COVID-19 reconciliation package and begin work on an economic recovery and jobs package, we urge you to include a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers, Dreamers, and TPS holders, as well as their families, in order to ensure a robust recovery that is inclusive and equitable for all Americans regardless of their immigration status,” the letter reads.
The Biden administration has proposed an amnesty plan already that would provide a pathway to citizenship to anyone in the country as of Jan. 1.
So far, the 28 House Democrats who would face tough races have not voiced an opinion on the measure, according to Breitbart.
After meeting with Republican senators at the White House on Monday, President Joe Biden appeared poised to push forward with his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan even if it fails to draw Republican support.
While the White House termed Biden’s discussion with 10 Republicans who pitched a downsized relief effort as “productive,” the Democratic president told the senators their plan did not go far enough.
Biden told the group “that he will not slow down work on this urgent crisis response, and will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The Republicans who attended the meeting are pushing a COVID-19 relief proposal about one third the size of Biden’s.
Earlier on Monday, top Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives filed a joint $1.9 trillion budget measure, a step toward bypassing Republicans altogether on a new virus relief bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the plan for the fiscal-year 2021 budget measure in the Senate and House, saying it would allow Congress to fast-track a coronavirus package for passage by both chambers.
The measure would allow Democrats to bypass a 60-vote threshold in the closely divided Senate and enact coronavirus legislation with a simple majority through a procedure called reconciliation.
It would mark the first time congressional Democrats used the maneuver to flex their legislative muscle since winning razor-thin control of the Senate in two runoff elections last month in Georgia.
The 100-seat Senate is divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote to give Democrats the majority.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is expected to meet with Senate Democrats on the relief measure on Tuesday, the department said.
Schumer spoke ahead of the Oval Office meeting on Monday evening among Biden, Harris and the 10 Republican senators, who have proposed a $618 billion relief package.
Susan Collins, one of the Republicans attending, said the discussion was “frank and useful” but yielded no breakthroughs. She said the sides would keep talking.
What “we did agree to do was to follow up and talk further at the staff level and amongst ourselves and with the president and vice president on how we can continue to work together on this very important issue,” Collins said.