Joe Biden’s immigration agenda faced a setback in the Senate on Wednesday. The Senate parliamentarian ultimately rejected Democrats’ proposal to integrate the immigration agenda into a social spending bill worth $3.5 trillion.
Elizabeth MacDonough Busted Democrats’ Hopes to Entertain Illegal Immigrants
Parliamentarian of the United States Senate Elizabeth MacDonough was approached by Democrat lawmakers seeking to legalize hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.
Democrats wanted to do this by amending the date of registry to enable undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status in the United States. Democrats wanted to change the registry date from 1972 to 2010 so millions of illegal residents living in the US could legalize their stay.
However, the parliamentarian called the proposal a non-starter and rejected the Democrats’ plea for the second time. Calling the change of the date a “weighty policy change,” MacDonough reiterated her decision was much in line with her first verdict when she rejected the Democrats’ proposal.
Democrats pitch parliamentarian on immigration Plan B https://t.co/yyYPaJegzZ
— Greg Siskind (@gsiskind) September 28, 2021
This is not the first setback for Democrats on their immigration agenda. While presenting their proposal to the Senate parliamentarian for the first time, Democrats offered nearly eight million green cards to four groups of residents.
These groups included Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, agricultural and essential workers. However, MacDonough rejected the proposal, marking it “not appropriate” for the reconciliation process.
Democrats Vow to Pursue Their Immigration Agenda, Despite Setbacks
Democrats, however, were not moved by the verdict, as they pledged to continue their efforts in legalizing undocumented immigrants. Democrat Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez promised to come with a “plan C” soon.
The Democrat Party also wanted to include as many controversial policy measures as possible in the social spending bill, as they can pass it through reconciliation.
This way, they can pass the bill (without needing any Republican votes) and avoid the filibuster.
I disagree with today’s decision from the Parliamentarian, as I did with the principle of her initial decision. Dems will present her with a Plan C, because we must deliver real results for as many undocumented immigrants as possible. https://t.co/MIBtzlihph
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) September 29, 2021
The existing registry date only allows illegal immigrants to apply for legal status if they arrived in the US before 1972. However, Democrats want to extend this date to 2010, an effort that was neutralized by the Senate parliamentarian.
According to the data, extending the date would have made almost 6.7 million illegal residents eligible to get legal status, hence burdening the resources of the country.
Despite receiving a crucial legislative blow, Democrats are not expected to halt their efforts to legalize undocumented immigrants. The White House has also vowed to get the legislation done through alternate means.
Right now, the immigrants are regulated as per the “Registration Act” of 1929. Time and time again, Congress has tried to amend the act and succeeded four times in doing so. The latest revision was in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, when the date of 1972 was established.
Democrats cannot expect even a single vote from Republican senators on this matter. Even their internal rifts can kill the bill in the Senate, as Democrat Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are likely to part ways with Biden on the measure.