Democrats’ Attempts at Immigration Reform Rejected Again

Summary

President Biden made the prospect of comprehensive immigration reform a major part of his campaign. Polling suggests that a majority of Americans are in favor of it, but so far, Senate Democrats have been unable to pass a bill overhauling our immigration system.

The Senate parliamentarian has said that Democrats cannot insert immigration reform into a sweeping spending bill. This proposal by the Democrats was their ‘Plan B,’ so they are forced to move on to ‘Plan C.’

Democrats had hoped their efforts to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants would be successful by making a change to the date for when undocumented immigrants within the United States can apply to adjust their legal status. But the Senate parliamentarian told Democrats that their proposal was not possible. She said that “changing the registry date is a big policy change but our analysis is largely the same as for Democrats’ previous proposal to provide legal permanent resident status to some immigrants.” Thus, Democrats are now moving on and pursuing other back-up plans.

Democrats had initially told the Senate parliamentarian they wanted to use their spending bill to provide 8 million green cards to immigrants in four groups: “Dreamers,” who came to the U.S. illegally as children; temporary protected status (TPS) holders; agricultural workers and other essential workers.

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