What does a narrow approach look like? The letter signed by advocacy organizations this week named two bills: the Dream Act of 2017 and the American Promise Act. The former provides a pathway to citizenship for daca recipients, while the latter does the same for TPS holders. “We urge you to package them together and bring them to the House floor as soon as possible after the 116th Congress convenes,” the letter reads.
Some progressives, however, might be more willing to attempt a comprehensive immigration package that also includes measures to dramatically change how the nation enforces its immigration laws—and that could pose some challenges. In a news conference held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus following the 2018 election, Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington said the caucus was “in the process of putting together a comprehensive immigration-reform platform that I think every Democrat should be embracing.”
Progressives and moderate Democrats have been split on immigration issues before. During the campaign season, progressive candidates rallied around “Abolish ice,” a hashtag that quickly transformed into a small movement to scrap the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement arm, while some Democrats kept their distance. Jayapal was among those calling for the agency to be eliminated, and introduced legislation, along with Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, to do just that.