Late Sunday, the Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, issued a decision on the viability of an ‘adjustment of status’ amnesty for 8 million illegal aliens in the massive $3,500,000,000,000 Democrat led Budget Reconciliation package.
The question before us is whether a series of proposed amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that remove existing barriers to adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident (LPR) for a variety of existing and newly created classes of immigrants and non-immigrants, including many not legally present in the United States, is a policy change that substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change. We believe it is, and we find that the material from previous reconciliation bills cited as support for the current proposal is distinguishable or not controlling on this issue.
In a three-page memo sent initially to Senators, obtained by The Associated Press, the parliamentarian noted that existing Senate rules would not allow the current iteration of immigration provisions. In addition, MacDonough cited Senate rules which state that provisions are not allowed in reconciliation bills if their budget effect is incidental compared to their policy impact.
Broadly speaking, as most of the beneficiaries of this policy change are not in status, there will be other, life-changing federal, state and societal benefits to having LPR status... LPR status would give these persons freedom to work, freedom to travel, freedom to live openly in our society in any state in the nation, and to reunite with their families and it would make them eligible, in time, to apply for citizenship – things for which there is no federal fiscal equivalent. Changing the law to clear the way to LPR status is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact.
An adjustment of status for eight million illegal aliens is certainly a sweeping policy change; MacDonough echoed that sentiment stating that the current immigration provisions being proposed are “by any standard a broad, new immigration policy.”
Senate Democrats and pro-amnesty advocates have already stated that they will offer alternative approaches to MacDonough for amnestying illegal aliens, doing whatever they can to further the Biden Admin.’s ambitions to admit as many foreign nationals as possible in the U.S., regardless of existing law, public opinion, or the national interest.
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a written statement. “Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days.”
“What we know is true: a path to permanent residency and citizenship has a significant budgetary impact, great bipartisan support, and above all it is critical to America’s recovery,” said Kerri Talbot, deputy director of the Immigration Hub. “We will continue to work with members of Congress to ensure that millions of undocumented immigrants can have lasting protections.”
The Parliamentarian concluded:
Finally, it is important to note that an obvious corollary of a finding that this proposal is appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation would be that it could be repealed by simple majority vote in a subsequent reconciliation measure. Perhaps more critically, permitting this provision in reconciliation would set a precedent that could be used to argue that rescinding any immigration status from anyone - not just those who obtain LPR status by virtue of this provision -- would be permissible because the policy of stripping status from any immigrant does not vastly outweigh whatever budgetary impact there might be. That would be a stunning development but a logical outgrowth of permitting this proposed change in reconciliation and is further evidence that the policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation.
You can read the entire decision here.
Updated: Mon, Oct 4th 2021 @ 11:20am EDT