Democrats still plan to update the Registry provision
Despite the Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling, Democratic leaders plan to continue with their immigration ‘Plan B’, which proposes to open a path to legalization for approximately 6.2 million undocumented immigrants in the US.
Broadly speaking, Democratic leaders propose to update the Registry provision included in the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) of 1929, which allows eligible undocumented foreigners to apply for a Green Card to become LPRs (Lawful Permanent Residents), provided they have resided in the US for a specified period of time.
What is the Democratic leaders’ proposal regarding the Registry provision?
- The Registry provision has not been updated since 1986 and, therefore, currently, only undocumented immigrants who have resided continuously in the US since or before 1972 are eligible for this benefit.
- Democratic leaders propose to update this provision and allow immigrants who have continuously resided in the US since or before 2006 (a period of 15 years) to access this benefit.
For more details about the Registry provision: Democrats Might Use the Registry Provision to Legalize Undocumented Immigrants
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Background – Senate Parliamentarian intercepted Biden’s immigration plans
The Biden administration is trying to promote comprehensive immigration reform in Congress by any means possible. Knowing that it will not get bipartisan support at this time for multiple reasons, it decided to include an immigration resolution in the most recent budget package.
This resolution, among other things, proposes to open a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain eligibility requirements. By being included in the spending bill, this immigration proposal might be approved through the reconciliation process (with only 51 votes in the Senate).
However, the Senate Parliamentarian, who is the policy advisor to this branch of Congress, recently twice rejected the immigration language included by Democratic leaders in the budget package.
Let’s look at some important facts:
- Initially, the Senate parliamentarian rejected the Democrats‘ proposal to open a path to citizenship for approximately 8 million undocumented immigrants, primarily essential foreign workers.
- Following this event, Democratic leaders proposed to modify the Registry provision to offer Green Cards to eligible undocumented immigrants. However, the Senate Parliamentarian rejected this immigration language again.
- Democratic leaders are also considering the possibility of including an immigration ‘Plan C’ for the Senate Parliamentarian to review.
Thus, now, Democratic leaders plan to continue with their Registry provision proposal despite the Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling, which is a non-partisan opinion rather than an order.
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