By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo Thursday celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of a bill that would give a pathway to citizenship to millions of “Dreamers,” people who emigrated as children and are living in the U.S. without official authorization.

“Our young (“Dreamers”) came to the United States with no fault of their own. They are an example of the vibrancy of immigrants who have come to this country since it was founded, to make a better life for themselves, Cedillo said.

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Opponents say the bill would reward people for breaking the law, encourages illegal immigration and hurts American workers.

The bill passed Thursday nearly along party lines, 228-197, with nine Republicans voting yes. If adopted, it would create a permanent legal pathway to citizenship for about 2.5 million immigrants who entered the country illegally as well as those granted temporary protected status due to humanitarian reasons.

“I celebrate this decision as undocumented immigrants who are a cornerstone of the economy will only be safe from deportation when a comprehensive immigration law with a pathway to citizenship is passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden,” Cedillo said.

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Cedillo noted that this bill is an example of why elections are so important and that in order to continue to pass bills like this, Angelenos must “advocate, become citizens, register and vote in the upcoming 2022 elections to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality.”

The bill faces an uphill fight for passage in the Senate where 10 Republicans would be required to vote with every Democrat in order to approve it.

As an assemblyman, Cedillo authored the 2011 California Dream Act, which allowed children who were brought to the United States without authorization when they were under the age of 16 and attended school on a regular basis and meet in-state tuition and GPA requirements to apply for student financial aid benefits at state colleges and universities.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)