“This was a lost political problem, but they still will,” added Schulte. “It is up to the Democrats to decide. The Republican Party cannot prevent the Democrats from passing the DREAM bill.”
The White House shares the frustration.
“We have many critics, but many of them do not propose many solutions,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, on Monday.
Democrats expect only a handful of Republicans to vote for the Dreamer Bill, also passed in 2019, and a little more to pass the Farm Workers Bill, which is the result of bipartisan negotiations and would also revise an agricultural visa program for future migrants. Together they would affect up to 5 million people.
There is even less support for Mr Biden’s broader plan. Moderate Democrats have been reluctant to cast difficult votes on a bill they know is being denounced by Republicans, and are pushing for a change in approach to reflect previous efforts to legalize undocumented workers against tighter border security traded in to become more similar.
Representative Henry Cuellar, a centrist Democrat from a border district in Texas, said he would like to “see something more moderate, especially when it comes to border security”. But he admitted that it was like a balloon to find a deal: “You push on one side, it expands on the other and you lose some people.”
Meanwhile, Republicans smell a powerful political weapon.
“Joe Biden and those around the White House recognize that this is a political disaster for them,” Cotton said in an interview. “You are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there are large numbers of Americans who disapprove of what they see on the border. On the other hand, you have a strong voice in the Democratic Party, which is lowering the boundaries in general and believes that we should give asylum to all of these people. “
Luke Broadwater Contribution to reporting.