Senate Democrats’ new budget proposal saves $ 107 billion to impose an amnesty for “millions” of illegal immigrants and invest in “smart and effective border security.”
The details of those measures have yet to be written by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but they are an ambitious marker that ignites the fifth great immigration debate of this century.
Previous attempts were victims of divisions within the ranks of immigrant rights advocates or partisan differences. But by leveraging the budget process, Democrats envision passing the bill without the need for bipartisan support, overcoming that second hurdle.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the immigration plans as part of the comprehensive budget package, which included plans for universal preschool, free community college, a major program to combat global warming, and massive new spending on housing, government offices and government. sponsored research and development.
“In essence, this legislation is about restoring the middle class in the 21st century and giving more Americans the opportunity to get there,” Schumer said in a letter to his colleagues.
The budget is a planning document and, if approved by the Senate, various committees are charged with writing the actual legislative language to accomplish those goals.
On immigration, Mr. Schumer said the bill instructs the Judiciary Committee to grant “permanent legal status to qualified immigrants” and to make “investments in smart and effective border security measures.”
He said nothing about tightening the domestic enforcement, such as using E-Verify to allow companies to remove illegal immigrant workers, which had been an element of previous immigration commitments.
A 2006 attempt at a broad amnesty was approved by the Senate, but never saw action in the House. A year later, a bill failed to pass the Senate.
In 2013, another bill passed again Senate but the House did not accept it.
And during the Trump administration, the president proposed a deal to legalize some illegal “Dreamers” in exchange for border wall money, but Democrats rejected that proposal as too high a price to pay.