Pathway to citizenship, green cards for millions in budget proposal

Democrats recently unveiled their $3.5 trillion budget proposal, which has some significant immigration related goals. Specifically, there are loosely detailed programs around lawful permanent status and green cards for immigrants who qualify and their families.  


This plan is particularly relevant for the constantly refuted DACA program, and this plan that would cover DACA Dreamers brought to the U.S. as children, but also migrant farmworkers, workers deemed essential during the pandemic, and those who already hold Temporary Protected Status after being unable to return to their countries. All in, the Democrats estimate the budget to fund and to facilitate these processes which would provide legal immigration pathways for almost 11 million people. 


However, there is backlash in Congress saying that the immigrant groups covered are too broad. A refute came up to only focus on the DACA Dreamers in this bill, and limit it to only DACA applicants who have already begun the process–not new applicants. This adjustment to the scope of immigrants covered would shrink the benefitting group down to fewer than 700,000 people. 


In response to this suggestion, Democrats have stated that removing the larger base of eligible DACA recipients who have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic makes little sense. If you’d like further reading about foreign born healthcare workers, we’ve talked about the immigrant impact in the American healthcare system in the past. 


The budget remains stalled in debate. The deadline for lawmakers to decide on the budget is September 15, 2021.