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House to pass immigration reform bill in ‘coming months’: Hoyer

​The majority leader in the House said Democrats will approve comprehensive immigration reform in the “coming months” as the Biden administration struggles with a surge of illegal border crossings, according to a report​ Tuesday.​

But first Rep. Steny Hoyer said the House will vote on two immigration bills this week — one to provide a pathway to citizenship for the so-called “Dreamers” and the other to provide permanent residency for undocumented farmworkers, Fox News reported.

“These two bills are not the fix, but they fixed a part of the problem,” ​the Maryland Democrat told reporters. “But we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and we’re going to do so in the coming months.”  

​He went on to say that Democrats, Republicans and independents all know that the “immigration system is broken” and needs to be reformed.​​

But Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said he doesn’t think the Biden administration’s sweeping immigration reform bill stands a chance in the narrowly divided chamber​, nor in the House.

Democrats, who hold a 50-50 majority in the Senate by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote, would need 10 Republicans to vote with them to pass the legislation.

“I don’t see a means of reaching it,” ​said Durbin, the majority whip.

The sweeping immigration measure also faces a rocky road in the House, Durbin said.

A child migrant carries luggage while walking along a river in Tapachula, Mexico.
A child migrant carries luggage while walking along a river in Tapachula, Mexico.
Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“I think Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi has discovered that she doesn’t have support for the comprehensive bill in the House,” ​he said. “And I think that indicates where it is in the Senate as well.”​

Complicating the matter in the Senate are demands by Republicans like South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham to address the wave of minors arriving at the border. 

​“When we start getting into the other areas, it gets much more complicated. He knows that,” Durbin said, referring to Graham, adding, “I wish we could move one piece at a time, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.”

Graham said the situation at the border makes it “much harder” to come together on a reform package and predicted a comprehensive bill won’t survive in the Senate this year.

“It’s going to be really hard to get a bipartisan bill put together on anything that has a legalization component until you stop the flow,” ​Graham said.

Hoyer said the politics surrounding immigration are even more complex now that Republicans are highlighting the migrant rush at the border.

“Republicans have for a long period of time used immigration as a political football to impart fear and apprehension in the minds of Americans,” he said.​ ​”They believe this is a political benefit for them​.​”​​

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said his department is trying to handle the “difficult situation” at the border.

And although he still refuses to characterize it as a crisis, Mayorkas acknowledged that the administration is “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”

With Post wires​​


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