Democrats’ Bid to Include Immigration Change in Budget Package Again Rejected

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Lawmakers were hoping to use a broader climate and social-policy package to implement major immigration changes without Republican votes

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His initial plan to make about eight million illegal immigrants in the country, including young immigrants eligible for green cards, was rejected earlier this month by Senate MP Elizabeth McDonough. Ms McDonough informed Democrats on Wednesday that even her latest attempt would not be allowed under Senate rules.

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To qualify for inclusion in legislation advanced through the process, known as budget resolution, any change must have a significant impact on the federal budget that is greater than contingent upon the demand for policy change. . An earlier decision from Ms McDonough’s office said: “To clear the way for the law to be changed [lawful permanent resident] The situation is a coercive and permanent policy change that undermines its budgetary impact.”

Following the lawmaker’s decision, Democrats promised to present options they hoped could clear the lawmaker’s bar.

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According to people familiar with the matter, on Tuesday, he presented a plan to replace an existing law known as the Registry, which allows immigrants who are in the US before a certain date to apply for a green card, Either way they enter. . That date is currently set as January 1, 1972. Democrats proposed moving it in 2010.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Ms McDonough indicated she was inclined to rule against the proposal, and a formal decision came soon after.

In the decision sent to Senate leadership and seen by Businesshala, the lawmaker wrote, “The number of beneficiaries and the scores of this amendment …. scores.”

Ruling added: “Change in status [lawful permanent resident] Circumstances change for a lifetime, the value of which is much greater than its budgetary impact. “

Democrats have repeatedly tried to find a legislative solution to address the condition of Dreamers, who were brought to America as children and lived in the country illegally.

Some Republicans even support finding a way to give them legal status, while others oppose it.

Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), a leading advocate of legalization policies, said Democrats now have limited options.

“People live desperate lives for fear of knocking on the door, no future for their children,” said Mr. Durbin. “And unfortunately we can’t find clear language for reconciliation that can help. Not now. We’ll keep trying.”

Even before this week’s meeting, Democrats were working on several backup proposals should the lawmaker reject the idea of ​​the registry, according to congressional aides familiar with the matter.

One of those proposals would not provide a direct path to citizenship, but would provide a more temporary set of deportation protections and an opportunity for some immigrants to apply for a green card.

The option would grant the population of immigrants in Democrats’ sights — dreamers, holders of temporary protected status, farmworkers and other workers deemed essential during the pandemic — a temporary status known as parole.

This would mean that these immigrants are legally in the country and would not be eligible for deportation. It would also allow immigrants who are currently otherwise eligible for a green card, such as through a US citizen child or sibling, to apply for a green card.

Democrats were considering a proposal to parole this population of immigrants for 10 years, so that all the associated costs of giving them legal status are covered in a limited window for budgetary purposes.

Under the rules of the Chamber, the presiding officer of the Senate – in this case Vice President Kamala Harris – can disregard the advice of an MP. Such a move is likely to give both sides more license to ignore MPs in future feuds, and they have followed MP’s decisions in recent disputes. Earlier this year, Democrats followed a lawmaker’s decision not to include a provision for raising the minimum wage in a previous reconciliation package.

Some progressives are agitating for Democrats to overthrow the lawmaker. Many Democrats have also argued that Senate Democrats should get rid of the filibuster rule altogether, and allow all legislation to proceed with a simple majority. Supporters say this would allow the party to pass bills on controversial issues including immigration and election rules. Many Democratic senators have objected to such a move, as have all Republicans, 50-50 blocking any change in the Senate.

Michelle Hackman at [email protected] and Siobhan Hughes at [email protected]

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