Lame Duck Congress Approves Anti- Immigration Enforcement Spending Bill, But Amnesty and Visa Provisions Were Defeated
Democrats may have lost control of the House of Representative in last November’s elections, but that didn’t stop them from using the post-election lame duck session of Congress to advance the Biden administration’s anti-enforcement immigration policies. Buried in the massive ($1.7 trillion and 6,825 pages) Omnibus spending bill, were countless budget measures designed to thwart meaningful enforcement of immigration laws through the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
As usual, there were efforts to use the must-pass spending bill to enact amnesty and other measures that could not pass as free-standing legislation. A coalition of organizations, led by FAIR, succeeded in exposing and beating back these permanent changes to our immigration laws.
FAIR did not read all 6,825 pages (and neither did anyone else), but our Government Relations team went through the provisions pertaining to immigration and exposed countless instances in which the spending bill was designed to promote more immigration chaos.
Harmful provisions of the omnibus:
- $1.563 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “border management” that does not allow using those funds to hire permanent border security officers, deport illegal aliens (only allows transportation to American communities), or expand border security technologies and capabilities unless it is for improving the processing of illegal aliens.
- $800 million from CBP to FEMA to pay for “sheltering and other services” through grant programs awarded to open border aligned non-governmental organizations and charities.
- Prohibits the use of funds for border wall construction in certain areas.
- Millions of dollars for a controversial case management pilot program to aid illegal aliens facing deportation – which is being overseen by a nonprofit that has previously called for the defunding and abolition of ICE.
- Promotes catch-and-release policies by allowing detention contracts to be rescinded based on arbitrary performance evaluations.
Damaging proposals that were defeated or withdrawn:
- A mass amnesty proposal led by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in exchange for an extension of weakened Title 42 and other meaningless promises of future immigration enforcement.
- The EAGLE Act, which would have resulted in more than 90 percent of employment-based green cards being awarded to citizens of just two countries: China and India.
- The misleadingly named Veterans Service Recognition Act, which would have provided amnesty for illegal alien relatives of veterans and even allowed deported criminals to return the U.S.
- The Afghan Adjustment Act, which would have granted permanent residence to largely unvetted Afghans who were allowed to enter the country under President Biden’s abuse of parole authority.
- A Biden administration attempt to slash ICE detention capacity by 30 percent.
- An agriculture bill containing both an amnesty for illegal aliens and an expanded guestworker program.