EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — During his address to Congress on Wednesday, President Joe Biden briefly spoke about immigration and his plan to provide a pathway to citizenship for both “Dreamers” and for millions of noncitizens already living in the country.
“What they are talking about a pathway to citizenship to them is ultimately the pathway to anybody who is allowed to remain through what they’ve called in the past an ‘earned residency’ and ‘earned citizenship campaign’ for people who have strong family ties,” said El Paso immigration attorney Carlos Spector.
Spector told KTSM 9 News the pathway for citizenship for millions in the U.S. is unlikely.
“The struggle continues but it is unlikely at this time — if they get residency, they will be lucky,” he said.
Spector added that the proposals most likely to pass are for agricultural workers and “Dreamers,” those in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA.
“At this point, the most likely piece of legislation that would pass would be with the ‘Dreamers’ and possibly with the farmworkers,” Spector said.
An El Paso “Dreamer” who came to the El Paso from Mexico at the age of 5 says she’s heard this before.
“I think that pretty much that’s all they’ve been doing,” said Norma Irene Alvarez, adding that she’s glad a “Dreamers” bill was passed by the House and Biden continues discussions about pathways to citizenship.
However, she added that she works and pays taxes, but is still not a citizen and thinks more needs to be done on the president’s part.
“I think he’s kind of being hesitant in actually doing something to make the Congress and those alongside with him to actually take action and at least come up with a solution,” Alvarez said.
While President Biden spoke about working on a pathway to citizenship for people, he did not address the number of migrants coming across the southern border.
U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, said he was disappointed solutions to the border crises were not discussed.
“I was disappointed that we did not hear any sort of solution from the President in regard to our border, especially since neither he nor the Vice President have yet to come down and see the border crisis firsthand,” Gonzales said in a statement.