Senate Parliamentarian Rejects Another Mass Amnesty Proposal
FAIR Take Special Edition | October 2021
As FAIR’s government relations team has warned for months, Democrats on Capitol Hill have been working around the clock to pass the largest amnesty in American history. Even worse, they are doing so in a manner that is just as bad, if not worse, than the policy itself.
Amnesty remains a top priority for the $3.5 trillion package dubbed “Build Back Better”, which will originate in the House and then advance through the Senate using budget reconciliation. This arcane legislative process allows the party in power to pass legislation related to the budget with only a simple majority in the upper chamber, thus bypassing the traditional 60-vote threshold.
Fortunately, the budget reconciliation process has complex requirements, and the Senate Parliamentarian must approve the inclusion of questionable policy proposals.
Two weeks ago, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough actually rejected their first plan to amnesty for over 8 million illegal aliens as part of the budget reconciliation package. She correctly noted that including amnesty would result in a “tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact.”
While this was a huge victory, the fight was clearly far from over.
Instead of respecting her decision, Democrats and mass immigration groups then started drafting a creative “plan B” that would give amnesty to nearly the same amount of illegal aliens.
What they planned to do was update the Immigration Reform and Control Act’s (IRCA) registry date so that illegal aliens could secure green cards so long as they can prove they arrived in the U.S. before January 1, 2010. The Center for American Progress (CAP), an open borders policy group, released an analysis finding that nearly 7 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. would get green cards under the Democrats’ “plan B” amnesty. More specifically, more than 1.5 million of those illegal aliens who would win green cards, and eventually naturalized American citizenship, reside in California, while 1.3 million reside in Texas, according to the CAP analysis. Another 410,000 eligible illegal aliens live in New York, and nearly 417,000 are in Florida.
Fortunately, last Wednesday, the MacDonough rejected “plan B,” and was very ironclad in her ruling. She referred to it as a “weighty policy change,” adding that “[amnesty] remains a life-long change in circumstances the value of which vastly outweighs its budgetary impact.”
Even though an audacious amnesty is less likely to happen because Democrats are running out of options to present, negative effects are sure to linger. Anytime amnesty is seriously discussed on Capitol Hill, it incentivizes migrants to come to the country illegally.
What has happened over the past few weeks in Del Rio, Texas proves this yet again – another border crisis inside a historical one that resulted in close to 2 million apprehensions in the current fiscal year. Had Congress focused on border security and enforcement instead of amnesty, we would not be in this situation today.