Congressional Democrats Unveil Immigration Reform Bill

Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 2:47pm
Updated: Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 2:48pm
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Nearly a month after President Biden took office, congressional Democrats have unveiled a sweeping immigration reform bill he asked them to start working on his first day.

Versions of the bill earmarked for the House and Senate are both about 350 pages long. It’s the latest attempt at comprehensive immigration reform, which lawmakers haven’t successfully passed since the 1980s.

At a news conference, California Rep. Linda Sanchez acknowledged past failures by lawmakers and warned against cynicism.

“But this time can and could be different. It should be different. I know that this is the year for Congress to act,” she said.

Sanchez, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, is the bill’s lead sponsor in the House of Representatives.

If signed into law, it would give millions of undocumented people a pathway to citizenship.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said at the news conference that negotiations with Republicans loom. But Democrats aren’t starting out by making concessions.

Instead, Menendez said they plan to make a case for inclusive and lasting reform.

“We will never win an argument that we don’t have the courage to make,” he said.

Menendez is the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate. He said Democrats are not taking an all-or-nothing approach. But they are hoping for “robust immigration reform.”

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