With a vote of 228-197, the House on Thursday approved a bill opening a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, including about 2 million DREAMers who were brought to the United States as young children.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said DREAMers are "so much of our country. These immigrant communities strengthen, enrich, and ennoble our nation, and they must be allowed to stay."
For DREAMers to receive green cards, they would have to meet certain requirements — including either working toward a higher education degree, serving in the military, or holding a job for at least three years — and not have a serious criminal record. The bill would also offer legal status to about 400,000 immigrants who have temporary protected status after fleeing natural disasters and conflicts in a dozen countries.
While nine Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill, most oppose it, and believe it should include border security provisions. The measure is not expected to receive Republican support in the Senate.
The House is also voting on a bill that would let undocumented farm workers who have been in the U.S. for the past two years receive certified agriculture worker status. It is estimated that half of all agricultural workers in the U.S. are undocumented.