Senate Parliamentarian rejects second immigration plan in budget package

Senate Parliamentarian rejects second immigration plan in budget package

On Wednesday, September 29, the Senate Parliamentarian rejected the second proposal by Democrats to include an immigration resolution in the budget package, narrowing the alternatives available to enact immigration reform through the reconciliation process.

This time, Democratic leaders proposed to modify the Registry provision included in the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act). Broadly speaking, this provision allows eligible undocumented immigrants who have continuously resided in the US for a specified period of time to apply for a Green Card to become LPRs (Lawful Permanent Residents).

To better understand the Registry provision: Democrats Might Use the Registry Provision to Legalize Undocumented Immigrants

Democratic leaders proposed changing the Registry provision’s date from 1972 to 2010, but the Senate Parliamentarian rejected this proposal, stating that, again, it is not entirely a budgetary issue and should not be introduced through the reconciliation process.

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Biden faces barriers to promote immigration overhaul through reconciliation

The reason why the Biden administration is trying to introduce an immigration resolution through the budget reconciliation process is because it would allow it to circumvent the Republican filibuster in the Senate and ultimately reform the immigration system to legalize undocumented foreign workers.

However, this process is available for budget issues and, according to the Senate Parliamentarian’s view, the path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants is not entirely a budget issue.

Democratic leaders explain that undocumented foreign workers are essential to keeping the economy afloat and that opening a path to legalization for them becomes a budgetary issue in the midst of the health crisis caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Initially, the budget package included an immigration resolution to open a path to permanent legal residency for undocumented foreigners who meet certain eligibility criteria. However, this proposal was rejected by the Senate Parliamentarian on September 19.

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Why is there so much controversy surrounding immigration reform?

Although hundreds of undocumented foreign workers contribute greatly to the socioeconomic development of the US and have been essential in the midst of the global health emergency, that does not remove the fact that there was a violation of immigration laws, either because they entered the country without prior authorization or because they exceeded their legal permits.

Thus, the controversy is not whether immigrants are an asset to the economy or not. What generates a gigantic social debate is the idea of legalizing undocumented foreigners who did not respect local laws, that is, irregular migration.

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