Democrats, Mr. Rogers added, “would rather reward illegal immigrants than secure our borders, enforce our laws and fix this crisis.”
In fact, passage of the legislation follows years of haggling among Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans and Democrats over a plan that would have done both, pairing legal status for the Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status holders with money for a border wall. The negotiations broke down repeatedly, even amid signs that such a measure would have had enough bipartisan support to pass.
Democrats now say they are opposed to any money for a wall. Even as they debated the so-called Dream and Promise Act on Tuesday, they unveiled a spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security that added no new money for border barriers or security measures. Republicans likewise were nearly unanimous in their opposition to protecting Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status holders, arguing that stricter immigration policies must first be imposed.
“This is frankly another green light to those who want to come here seeking freedom from the place that they currently are — which I sympathize with,” said Representative Doug Collins, Republican of Georgia. “But either we have a way to get into our country legally, or we don’t.”
The partisan fight over the bill obscured the complicated political crosscurrents that have long frustrated attempts to forge consensus in Congress on immigration issues. It was that dynamic that prompted President Barack Obama to go around Congress in 2012 and create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which provided renewable legal status and work permits to about 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Mr. Trump moved in 2017 to rescind DACA, but has been blocked by federal courts as part of a legal challenge that has reached the Supreme Court. The House bill would allow DACA recipients, as well as another 1.6 million immigrants who are eligible for the program but not enrolled, to apply for permanent legal status.
The Trump administration has also terminated or failed to renew Temporary Protected Status for several countries, including El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, in some cases leading to legal challenges that are still unresolved. The bill approved on Tuesday would allow the roughly 300,000 status holders currently living in the United States, along with as many as 3,600 Liberians who have a similar status known as Deferred Enforced Departure, to earn legal permanent residency and eventual citizenship.