EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Democratic lawmakers are praising the approval of immigration language that will be included in a proposed $3.5 trillion spending plan.
On Monday night, the proposal passed on a 25-19 party line vote and would create a pathway to citizenship for migrants. On Tuesday, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) joined the American Business Immigration Coalition to discuss the House Judiciary committee’s historic action on immigration measures and urgency for inclusion in the Build Back Better Act.
The House committee approved measure that will support 8 million undocumented Dreamers who arrived in the U.S. as children and recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
Undocumented essential workers will also be eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Legislators and economists say providing a pathway to citizenship for these populations will have a positive impact on the national economy.
Last week, a coterie of leading economists in the U.S. sent a letter to Congress that urged pathways to citizenship through reconciliation to bolster the economy.
The economists determined that “creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those eligible for TPS, and undocumented immigrants in essential occupations, including farmworkers, would grow U.S. GDP by $1.5 trillion, raise the annual wages of all workers by $600, and create more than 400,000 new jobs over the next decade.”
“What that will do for our country is open up our economy. We’ve seen not only the impact the pandemic has made to the health of our family members, our friends, our neighbors, our country, but we’ve also seen the economic devastation,” says Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16).
A recent poll by Data for Progress reports that 67 percent of respondents support legalization in reconciliation extending across party lines.
“We’ve got to get our economy back on track, as well. We’ve done a good job with the packages that have sustained and helped people survive through the pandemic, but by building back better with immigrants, we’re going to see them contribute an added $149 billion of spending power every year,” says Escobar.
Although the advancement of the proposal is good news for Democrats, the state GOP remains unconvinced when it comes to immigration progress being made under the Biden Administration.
This includes the expansion of the Central American Minors program that takes effect on Tuesday, as well as other proposed immigration.
“The border crisis continues to worsen and the Biden administration still has no plan to get it under control. Their lack of leadership has put Texans in border communities at risk and forced them to handle the crisis on their own,” RNC Spokesperson Macarena Martinez tells KTSM 9 News.