June 17, 2024
'We have the opportunity to be a part of history'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, speaks during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, regarding the American Dream and Promise Act which offers a pathway to citizenship for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and similarly situated immigrants who have spent much of their lives in the United States.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, speaks during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, regarding the American Dream and Promise Act which offers a pathway to citizenship for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and similarly situated immigrants who have spent much of their lives in the United States.

With chants of “Yes we can” thundering from the rafters, House Democrats on Tuesday powered through legislation to cancel deportations and grant future citizenship rights to millions of illegal immigrants in a vote that nodded more toward 2020 politics than to substantive policymaking.

The 237-187 vote marked the first major legalization bill to pass the House in nearly a decade, and it underscored the ground Democrats feel they have gained on an issue that both sides expect to be at the center of the presidential election.

With President Trump calling for action to solve the crisis at the border, Democrats countered by casting their eyes at the 11 million illegal immigrants who already have crossed and found places in the nation’s shadows.

Democrats singled out more than 2 million of them for legalization. They include “Dreamers” and foreigners in the U.S. under temporary humanitarian protections.

“We have the opportunity to be a part of history, to be on the right side of history,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, as Dreamers and other immigrant rights activists watched from packed viewing galleries. They cheered and chanted as the bill crossed the finish line.

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