A slim Republican majority and a speaker of the House weakened by concessions made to anti-establishment conservatives could give Democrats an opening to push through immigration reform this year, senior Republican aides and left-wing immigration activists told the Washington Free Beacon.
House Democrats could force a vote on a bill giving citizenship to "dreamers"—illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children—residency to millions of illegal immigrants, an expansion of work visas for foreigners, and other wish-list items using a parliamentary maneuver called a discharge petition. In other words, House Democrats could make an alliance with just five moderate Republicans and pass the first major piece of immigration reform since 2000.
This would be a nightmare scenario for border hawks and Republicans who campaigned against President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, which they blame for the millions of illegal crossings on the southern border since he took office. Left-wing activists are pushing for such a scenario and see the discharge petition as a way to get a more radical bill than should be possible in a Republican-controlled House. Some border hawks and senior Republican staffers see that outcome as a distinct possibility, citing anger from the Democratic base and a push from business groups.