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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House on Thursday voted 228-197 to pass the American Dream and Promise Act as part of Democrats' first effort at immigration reform under the Biden administration.

Why it matters: Nine Republicans joined Democrats to support the bill, which creates a pathway to citizenship for about 2.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. The pathway would be available to those who were brought into the country illegally as children and those who have come for humanitarian reasons.

  • Under this bill, the Homeland Security Department and the Justice Department would provide permanent resident status to people who meet specific qualifications.
  • It would provide a path to citizenship to immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before Jan. 1, 2021, were under the age of 18 at the time, and meet other criteria.
  • The bill would also offer a pathway to citizenship to immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a designation given to those who come from countries in crisis.

The big picture: The passage comes as the Biden administration wrestles with the soaring number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the Southern border.

What to watch: Democrats hope to get 10 Republican senators to back the legislation and reach the 60-vote filibuster-proof threshold, but they face an uphill battle.

  • Democrats want to use the budget reconciliation process, which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority, to pass immigration reform.
  • Approximately three-quarters of U.S. adults support granting permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
  • A similar bill previously passed the House with 7 Republican votes.

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

58 mins ago - World

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.