Late on Monday, September 13, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a historic immigration bill that includes a broad pathway to citizenship for approximately 8 million immigrants. The bill would allow approximately 8 million people to qualify for green cards, including DACA recipients, TPS holders, farmworkers, and essential workers. The bill allows for the recapture of unused greencards, thereby adding an additional 500,000 immigrant visas to the queue. The use of visa recapture will alleviate backlogs in both family and employment categories. The bill also includes a $2.8 billion appropriation to increase capacity at USCIS and reduce case processing backlogs.
The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on a party line vote of 25-19. Debate on the bill focused on the budgetary impact of the legislation, as well as provisions relating to COVID, migration at the Southern border, and funding for immigration enforcement. No Republican amendments were agreed upon, and the bill remains intact.
The House bill will be combined with other related budget reconciliation measures and could receive a vote on the House floor as early as next week. The House has a self-imposed deadline of September 27 to pass both the budget reconciliation and bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The Senate Parliamentarian has yet to rule as to whether any of the provisions included in the House measure would pass the “Byrd rule,” an arcane procedural rule outlining what provisions can be included in budget reconciliation legislation. It is possible that the Senate parliamentarian could rule that the House immigration bill is not eligible for inclusion in budget reconciliation, in which case Democrats are preparing backup options including the use of a broad legalization provision known as “registry.”
Erickson Immigration Group is proud to share of-the-moment government updates from our Government Affairs team, led by a former USCIS Chief Policy Director (Obama administration), a US State Department Consular Chief, and our trusted partners on Capitol Hill.
Given the dynamic nature of the legislation process, EIG will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your EIG attorney.