Democratic leaders consider long-term proposal to sidestep obstacles policies and procedures to provide temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants.
WASHINGTON - President Biden's efforts to finally move forward with a complete overhaul of the immThe country's immigration has been stranded by Republicans, blocked by the courts and dismissed for violating obscure Senate rules.
Now Democratic leaders are "seriously considering" a long-drawn-out proposal tended to sidestep political and procedural hurdles by including language in the president's vast set of social safety nets to provide temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants, according to three government officials. Congress and several others familiar with the plans.
They requested anonymity to discuss the details of the private negotiations.
The proposal - which drops one of the president's keys calls for creating a direct path to citizenship for immigrants - faces a series of challenges even before its inclusion in the project Mr. Biden's law could beofficially considered. But the fact that Democrats are still trying to get it into law is a sign of their desperate desire to keep the promises they made to a critical segment of the party's electoral coalition.
"This is a solution that brings us closer to our North Star citizenship for 11 million " said Kerri Talbot, deputy director of Immigration Hub, a group pro-immigration. "Lasting protections for 8 million people are nothing short of a breakthrough.
As part of the plan, immigration measures would be included in the social safety net bill that Democrats intend to pass unilaterally via a fast-track process known as budget reconciliation , qui allows certain expenses and tax bills to be passed by simple majority vote. These measures would extend the power of the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant a temporary status known as parole to those who are undocumented and have lived in the United States for a decade or more, protecting them from the United States. eviction.
But the plan should pass with Elizabeth MacDonough, the parliamentarian of the Senate , who serves as arbiter of the rules chamber of the Senate that limit what can be included in Mr. Biden's bill. She rejected previous attempts to include a path to citizenship in the reconciliation bill, saying the immigration plan was too broad and did not have enough direct impact on the budget.
These decisions have been hailed by Republicans, who have repeatedly criticized Democrats for attempting to use an obscure budget maneuver to enact strong policy changes. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn has accused Democrats of pushing for "a general amnesty without any effort to control the growing migration crisis and the southern ".
But Democrats say that They are still exploring what they can do to advance the Biden agenda under Byzantine Senate rules, including using the reconciliation process to bypass any Republican obstruction.
Democrats say they remain determined to find a way to pursue a path to citizenship, but I think the last option would be a chance to help many immigrants faster in the lightera of parliamentary decisions. They note that this is just one of the many options they have for trying to make changes to the immigration system through reconciliation.
Significantly, the proposal would not put millions of undocumented immigrants on a direct path to citizenship - the new measure alone would not allow them to immediately obtain green cards. Immigrants currently eligible for a green card, such as parents of adult US citizens, could still apply for citizenship under the plan.
Supporters of the plan argued that the watered-down proposal should satisfy the parliamentarian, who had criticized the size of earlier versions.
The legislation would offer undocumented migrants not only protection against expulsion, but also the possibilitybility to obtain a work permit - a point that immigration advocates say should more clearly tie the provision to the federal budget, which would make it easier for the parliamentarian to authorize it under the rules of reconciliation.
"This is a last ditch effort to try and save something for the reconciliation process that can provide some level protection for undocumented migrants while Democrats control Congress, "said Cris Ramon, a Washington-based immigration consultant, adding that this is " not necessarily where supporters wanted to land. "
Democracy The ts plan would include most undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 2011 and could help between 7 and 8 million people, said people familiar with the plan. This would allow those covered toe travel out of the country with Homeland Security approval.
The proposal essentially codifies an improved version of deferred action for arrivals of Children, or DACA, a program introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012, granting work permits and legal status to people who came to the United States before 2012 and have lived in the country continuously since then.
"My guiding principle throughout the ongoing reconciliation process has been to provide a pathway to citizenship for most of the undocumented community", said Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who has worked on the issue, said in a statement. “Despite the parliamentarian's recent negative views, I will continue to work with my colleagues and a broad coalition of groups, including activists, to find a way forward.to follow.
The expansive social safety net legislation would extend health insurance to cover dental, vision and hearing care, would allow the government federal government to negotiate the price of preion drugs, and would include funding for paid family leave, grants for free childcare, free preschool and community college, and investments to fight the currency climate. Democratic leaders are currently working on cut the $ 3.5 trillion package to attract the support of the centrist Democrats needed to get the measure to Mr. Biden's desk.
Michael D. Shear co ntributed reports.