(USA Features) Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday would not definitively say a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers” won’t be added to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and jobs bill, even after being pressed by CNN host Jake Tapper.
“House progressives are calling you to include a path to citizenship for DREAMers in the legislation. Again, I understand this is a principle you think that is worth fighting for. Is that infrastructure?” Tapper asked Buttigieg on Sunday.
“That’s not in the plan that we have put forward. Of course, we need to support DREAMers. That’s important as a policy matter in this country. Now, we’re getting into the season where there is going to be a lot of push and pull on,” the Transportation secretary said.
“You know how things move in different forms in terms of legislative packaging. That’s what this negotiating process will produce. But the important thing, as the president has repeatedly said, is we can’t do nothing,” he continued. “We can’t wait any longer, and when it comes to this infrastructure package, The American people are ready to go. We have been ready to go for years and years. I think this is the third administration to arrive with the American people clamoring for something to happen on infrastructure. I think this time we can get it done.”
Unsatisfied, Tapper pressed, “Are you ruling out including a path for citizenship for DREAMers in the infrastructure bill?”
“Again, that’s not in the plan that the president has put forward,” Buttigieg repeated. “I will say that we’re hearing a lot of ideas from across the aisle and within our caucus on you know what to do about the pay-fors, different shapes that the infrastructure package and the transportation infrastructure can take.
“I think you will find the president is ready to listen to these ideas that are going to come up, for example, in tomorrow’s meeting,” he continued. “But we can’t just sit here. We’ve got roads and bridges deteriorating by the day. America is not in the top 10 when it comes to transportation infrastructure — areas that I work on the most. We got to get something done.”
“So I’ll interpret that as your mind is opened as to what else might be in the package,” Tapper replied.