Seven Republicans lawmakers broke ranks and joined 230 Democrats in voting for a bill that would grant amnesty to over two million illegal aliens.
The Americans Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which passed 237 to 187 on June 4, would provide opportunities to gain permanent residence status after 10 years to illegal immigrants who entered the United States as minors, such as DACA recipients, if they meet certain conditions.
The aliens would receive a green card upon earning a college degree or equivalent at a higher educational institution, serving at least two years in the military, or after over three years of employment in the country.
Hundreds of thousands of aliens under temporary protected status or deferred enforcement deportation would also qualify for permanent residency per the new bill.
No Democrats voted against the measure.
“This is a day that glorifies what America is to the world: a place of refuge, a place of safety, a place of opportunity,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said during a press conference ahead of the vote.
The White House issued a statement on June 3 condemning the H.R 6 bill, saying that it would send a signal encouraging the inflow of illegal immigrants while undermining the current immigration priorities of protecting communities and defending borders.
“H.R. 6 would only exacerbate illegal immigration and the exploitation of our immigration laws by incentivizing more illegal behavior while doing nothing to address the problems at our southern border or broader immigration enforcement efforts,” the statement reads, adding that cost of enforcing the legislation would likely blow up the government budget deficit by another $30 billion.
Several House Republicans also criticized the bill, saying that it failed to address the real underlying issue.
“There is a serious Border Crisis right now & what do we get from Socialist Democrats? An illegal alien amnesty bill. I yearn for the day that Socialist Democrats put the interests of American citizens above the interests of illegal aliens & their own craving for political power,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) wrote on Twitter after the passage of the bill.
There is a serious #BorderCrisis right now & what do we get from Socialist Democrats? An illegal alien amnesty bill. I yearn for the day that Socialist Democrats put the interests of American citizens above the interests of illegal aliens & their own craving for political power.
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) June 4, 2019
“Sadly, Democrats are making us consider a bill to worsen the border crisis by incentivizing more people to cross our borders illegally in hopes of getting a piece of the amnesty pie,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.
“No doubt at this very minute, the smuggling cartels are getting the word out: Congress is going to legalize millions,” he continued.
Migrants are admitting that they have either “borrowed,” “rented,” or “bought” a child because they know, if they arrive at the border with a child, they are all but guaranteed to be released into the U.S. H.R. 6 does zero to end this abuse.
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) June 4, 2019
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that H.R. 6 is “a bill that fails to live up to its optimistic title.”
“Instead of addressing the multi-faceted immigration problem that we’re facing, H.R. 6 offers unregulated access to citizenship and makes it easy for criminals and gang members to access green cards, while offering no improved enforcement measures, protections against fraudulent green card applications, or solutions to close the back door of illegal immigration.
Democrats’ new “Dream Act” is only a dream for criminals:
→ Blocks access to state and federal gang databases
→ Prevents felons and gang members from being referred to ICE for deportation
→ Grants amnesty to violent criminals
→ Provides $0 for border security
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 4, 2019
Crisis at the Border
On May 20, Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the Defense Department’s plan to build six more detention facilities in Arizona and Texas in response to the overwhelming flood of migrants coming across the border.
The border patrol agents apprehended around 133,000 illegal aliens at the Southwest border during May, about 9 percent of them are unaccompanied minors and another 63.6 percent came as families. The number is even higher—over 144,000—after accounting for those who the officials have deemed inadmissible.
Border Patrol agents, working between official U.S. ports of entry, apprehended 132,887 individuals who entered the country illegally in May—an average of 4,286 people per day. pic.twitter.com/BC0KMU18Zi
— CBP (@CBP) June 5, 2019
At least 52,000 people are being held in custody at the border—about 7,000 over the capacity.
“When you start talking about sanctuary cities, abolishing ICE, ‘We’re not going to give you money for a wall,’ ‘There is no crisis,’ ‘We’re going to offer you free in-state tuition,’ ‘We’ll give free medical care in California and New York,’ when you say all these things that the Democratic Party’s saying … people are enticed to come to this country,” former acting ICE Director Tom Homan told The Epoch Times. “Their proactive talk of open borders drive these people to come to the United States and put themselves in the hands of criminal organizations.”
Collins said that Republicans also want to see DACA recipients gain legal status, but the current bill is not the solution.
“We want to do it the right way—to minimize fraud, ensure criminals cannot get legal status, and bolster border security. Without these commonsense and compassionate measures, we will find ourselves repeating this conversation a few years from now.”