A Republican-led House could be forced to vote on an immigration reform bill that, among other things, would give citizenship to illegal migrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
That's because with the GOP holding a slim majority, it only would take five moderate Republicans to join Democrats in supporting legislation.
Progressives also could ensure such a bill includes residency to millions of migrants, and an expansion of work visas for foreigners.
Senior Republican aides and progressive immigration activists told the Free Beacon that the possible scenario also is aided by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., having been weakened after making deals with conservative members to earn their votes for his position.
The possibility of a vote on immigration reform could be strengthened by a parliamentary maneuver called a discharge petition, which would allow a bill to move to the floor for a vote after 218 members sign on in favor. That would bypass House leadership and the Rules Committee that usually determines what legislation comes up for a vote and when.
"It's totally possible. Current House GOP immigration plans don't have broad buy-in from the rest of the party right now anyway," a senior GOP aide told the Free Beacon. "The chances only increase if the Supreme Court rules against Biden on Title 42 and [the DREAMer program]."
"Dreamers" are illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Seeing Democrats employ the discharge petition for progressive immigration reform likely would frustrate and anger Republicans who have blamed President Joe Biden and his policies for the current crisis at the southern border.
Senate Democrats, who hold a chamber majority, could change filibuster rules or find nine Republicans to back the immigration bill to send the legislation to Biden's desk.
A few dozen moderate Republicans already signaled willingness to working with Democrats on immigration reform by signing on to narrowly tailored amnesty bills in 2021.
A number of GOP members voted in favor of the two Democratic-sponsored bills — nine for the American Dream and Promise Act, and 30 for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act — that provided pathways to citizenship for illegal migrants. Both bills ultimately died in the Senate.
The Free Beacon reported that immigration activists said they are using a discharge petition to force through immigration reform.
Lydia Guzman, director of advocacy and civic engagement at the left-wing League of United Latin American Citizens, said her organization plans on pressuring both parties to reach a deal in the new Congress.
"[A discharge petition] is on our radar, and we're glad to see that Republicans are looking at immigration reform seriously. I think this is a golden opportunity for them to be leaders on this," Guzman told the Free Beacon. "We have been pushing and have been advocating for reforms for decades. We can accomplish this."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.