Pres. Biden has proposed amnesty for more than 11 million illegal aliens, a massive expansion of legal immigration, and the dismantling of enforcement if yet to be released legislation is anything like an outline provided by the new Administration hours before Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
To be clear, NumbersUSA has yet to see legislative text of the Biden proposal. But if the coming legislation is anything like the outline released by the new Administration earlier today, this is not a serious attempt to reform our nation's immigration laws, and instead is a wish-list for the open borders lobby.
Here are some of the highlights of the plan:
- Amnesty with lifetime work permits for more than 11 million illegal aliens who were in the county on or before January 1, 2021. The proposal would also allow any illegal alien deported by the Trump Administration to return and receive the amnesty. Dreamers, recipients of Temporary Protected Status, and most illegal farm workers would be fast-tracked and be eligible for citizenship before the end of Biden's first term.
- A massive increase in legal immigration to include:
- raising the annual caps for non-nuclear family members of U.S. citizens (chain migration)
- increasing the Visa Lottery from 55,000 to 80,000 per year
- stapling a green card to the diploma of all foreign students who graduate with an advanced degree in a STEM field from a U.S. university or college
- admitting more than 4 million foreign nationals who are currently on the backlog for an employment-based or family-based green card
- Reprioritize enforcement efforts to only focus on violent criminal aliens
We expect former Gang of 8 member Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to introduce legislation reflecting the plan over the next few days. If today's outline is a fair representation of his legislation, then Republicans should immediately dismiss it as a non-serious offer. There are early signs that Republicans will do just that.
Former Gang of 8 member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had this to say about the plan:
“Before we deal with immigration we need to deal with COVID, make sure everyone has the chance to find a good job, and confront the threat from China. America should always welcome immigrants who want to become Americans. But we need laws that decide who and how many people can come here, and those laws must be followed and enforced. There are many issues I think we can work cooperatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them.”
-- Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who could be the next Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over immigration, has also been critical of the proposal.
“I’ve previously supported immigration proposals that would provide certainty for DACA-eligible individuals and lead to greater border security and more robust enforcement of our immigration laws. But a mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter. As we’ve seen before, that approach only encourages further violations of our immigration laws."
-- Sen. Chuck Grassley
While the Biden plan may face an easier path to passage in the House than in the Senate, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered possibly the harshest criticism of the Biden proposal.
"The coronavirus and government-imposed lockdowns have left millions of Americans unemployed and small businesses shut down. Our immediate national priority must be to help Americans get back to work. Instead, the first legislative priority we get from the new administration is not one aimed at lowering unemployment for Americans or reopening our economy, but a radical immigration bill granting citizenship to millions of illegal aliens.
"Not only does it undermine our rule of law and encourage more illegal immigration, it tells our fellow Americans their misfortune isn’t our nation’s top priority. Will this proposal help Americans get back to work? Most certainly not. And until that happens, the Biden Administration must focus on helping our own citizens first."
-- Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
We'll have a detailed analysis of the Biden immigration plan once our Capitol Hill team has seen and had time to analyze the legislation.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Feb 3rd 2021 @ 7:25pm EST