LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Democrats unveiled a new bill Thursday that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants if it passes.
Democrats said the bill provides a logical path to citizenship for those who face uncertainty every day. Republicans claim the bill incentivizes illegal immigration.
Mirna Perez, a mother of three who lives in High Desert with her undocumented husband, said there is fear he will be picked up and sent away.
“He goes to work and you never know if he’s coming back or not,” Perez said. “Even when I drop my kids off at school I would see people pulled over and officers take undocumented immigrants away.”
Immigration reform activists said the bill makes families able to stay together.
“Most of the people this bill will help are essential workers,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez, (D) Norwalk, who helped co-author the bill. “They’re the ones who helped our loved ones in nursing homes during COVID and helped put food on our tables working in grocery stores.”
The bill, if passed, would also enable dreamers and some farmers to gain citizenship in about 3 years, and 8 years for most other undocumented immigrants who entered Los Angeles County before January 1, paid taxes, and passed a background check.
The bill reverses a lot of Trump-era policies on immigration. Political analysts said winning over Republicans will not be easy. Marco Rubio called the bill “blanket amnesty” for people who are here unlawfully.
Other Republicans said they are worried it could motivate more migrants to cross the border illegally.
It has been more than three decades since Congress pass major immigration reform. It would take 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill, meaning Democrats would need 10 Republican votes.