Hispanic Democrats Remain Split on Immigration Policy in Biden's Social Spending Bill

© REUTERS / Erin ScottThe dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019
The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S.,  July 26, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.11.2021
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), with 32 voting members in Congress, has not unified on an immigration policy as a part of the social spending bill.
The group holds significant voting power, as Democrats hold a slim majority in the House and need every vote in the Senate, but have not pushed for a unified immigration policy for the Biden administration's social spending bill.
The concern among some in the CHC is reportedly the fragility of passing the wide-ranging bill itself. Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard (D-CA) described the difficulty in making immigration policy a deal-breaker.
“If you look at the bill, I mean, pre-K, home health care, child tax credit [...] any one of those pieces of that legislation, it would be an incredible achievement to pass any one of those,” Allard said, adding, “and to bring all that down for something that is not possible; to me, it doesn't make sense.”
Members of the CHC are not punting on immigration reform, however. While some have opted for a more flexible approach, others have made it clear that they won’t support the bill unless it contains clear solutions on immigration.
Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jesús García (D-IL) and Lou Correa (D-CA.) have refused to vote for any reconciliation bill without immigration provisions. One of the problems that Democrats have faced has been the Senate parliamentarian.
The social spending bill is attempting to be passed through the process of reconciliation, allowing the Senate to pass budget-related bills with a simple majority, dodging a potential filibuster. The Senate parliamentarian determines what can and cannot be done through reconciliation. Thus far, two proposals have been rejected that would have granted legal permanent residence to millions of foreign nationals.
Hispanic Democrats want to include some form of immigration reform in the social spending bill, with Espaillat saying, "I think that you know we all want to see some level of immigration reform."
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