Today, the Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, issued a second decision on the viability of an amnesty for approximately 6.5 million illegal aliens in the massive $3,500,000,000,000 Democrat-led Budget Reconciliation package.
Senate Democrats’ first attempt to put an amnesty in the Budget Reconciliation package was rejected by MacDonough on September 17th. The Parliamentarian determined the first attempt to include an amnesty in the Budget Reconciliation to be a “tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact.”
The Wall Street Journal reported:
To qualify for inclusion in legislation advanced through the process, known as budget reconciliation, any change must have a significant impact on the federal budget that is more than incidental to the policy change being sought.
Almost immediately following the Parliamentarian’s ruling, Democrats provided a “Plan B” they hoped might clear the Parliamentarian’s bar.
The new plan presented by Democrats proposed a small change to an existing law known as the Registry, part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This text allows migrants present in the U.S. before a specific date to apply for a green card; currently, that date is set at 1972 - Senate Dems hoped to move it to 2010.
On Wednesday, Ms. Macdonough sent her ruling to Senate leadership. The Wall Street Journal who was granted access to the decision, stated that the Parliamentarian wrote:
The number of beneficiaries and score of this amendment…are largely the same as those of the earlier proposal which does not dramatically shift the balance of policy vs. score.
The change in status to [lawful permanent resident] remains a life-long change in circumstances, the value of which vastly outweighs its budgetary impact.
According to Congressional aides familiar with the matter, Sen. Democrats had already been working on more alternatives for the Parliamentarian, should she reject the Registry idea.
One other proposal by Senate Dems would not offer a “direct path to citizenship” to millions of illegal aliens but would give a “temporary” set of deportation protections and an opportunity for some to apply for green cards.
The WSJ reports that this would still apply to DACA recipients, holders of TPS, alien farmworkers, and other aliens deemed essential workers by Senate Democrats, and change their status from illegal alien to “legally paroled.” However, this plan would still result in a “change in status” to just as many illegal aliens, presumably still failing the Parliamentarian’s text.
Under this possible option, those aliens would be in the country legally and wouldn’t be eligible for deportation. It would also allow immigrants who are currently otherwise eligible for a green card, such as through a U.S. citizen child or sibling, to apply for a green card. Sen Democrats would plan to grant this parole for 10 years so that all expenses of giving them a legal status would be within the limited budgetary window.
The news of the Parliamentarian’s ruling today broke soon after Politico reported: “The Senate Parliamentarian… will be out for two weeks for surgery to treat stage 3 breast cancer.” The Parliamentarian’s office informed Senate leadership of the diagnosis on Tuesday night.
For more on the Parliamentarian’s second ruling, please click here.
Updated: Wed, Oct 13th 2021 @ 7:20pm EDT