A potential slim House majority for moderate immigration reform


With help from a Washington Post article we can envision a very slim majority in the House of Representatives for any moderate immigration reform bill, one that will secure the future of Dreamers and perhaps make some further limited changes. This slim majority may block any restrictionist bill.

As of today, 214 members have signed on to vote, by way of a discharge petition H.R. 774, on a vote planned expressly to protect Dreamers. The details of the strategy are here.

This discharge petition requires 218 votes, per the Washington Post. As of today, the discharge petition is assured of 193 Democrats (100%) and 21 Republicans (9%) – or 214, four votes shy of 218.

In total, 13 of 21 signers represent districts that are either heavily Hispanic or that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 — in several cases both. Jeff Denham (R-CA), leading the discharge effort, has a district both of over 40% Hispanic and which voted for Clinton. Denham’s district is heavily involved with farming including wineries, including Gallo, the world’s largest winery.

Republicans hold 11 seats with an Hispanic population of at least 40%. Four of the 11 have yet to sign on. Leaving out these 11 seats, there are 18 remaining seats with a Clinton majority in 2016. Ten of the 18 have yet to sign on. Eight other Republicans signed on who did not have a large Hispanic population and whose district went to Trump in 2016. Three of the 8 signed on in support of dairy farmers in their district.

H.R. 4760 is the Goodlatte bill, which will severely restrict immigration without providing lasting security to Dreamers. It would give Dreamers a three-year visa with no right to permanent stay or citizenship, restrict family reunification to spouses and minor children (thus removing adult children and parents), shift the visa lottery to economic visas, and boost border security.

There remains H.R. 4796, a bipartisan bill filed on January 26. Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Pete Aguilar (D-California) filed the Uniting and Securing America Act (USA) Act, H.R. 4796, with 48 bipartisan original cosponsors. The bill will protect Dreamers, and make sensible improvements to border control

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