As the Republican Party prepares to take over the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats in Congress are pushing to get things done during the upcoming lame-duck session.
One of those priorities is a bill to protect more than 600,000 so-called Dreamers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, which Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin aims to work with Republican senators.
However, the path forward on larger immigration reform remains uncertain.
“We haven’t seen any significant change in immigration policy since 1986,” said Eré Rendon, vice president of immigrant justice at The Resurrection Project.
Even with current control of the Senate, House and presidency, Democrats have been unable to pass significant immigration reform that would put individuals on a path to citizenship. With the GOP splitting the chamber, future immigration policy might get trickier.
Helena Olea, associate director of programs at Alianza Americas, hopes Congress can focus on a myriad of immigration policies that would put DACA, TPS, farmworkers and essential workers on a path to citizenship.
But these policies should not come at the expense of creating policies that harm other immigrant communities, Olea says.
“We need to end this idea of the tradeoff for some regularization at the expense of border security. We don’t need more border security,” she adds.