Immigration overhaul is part of Biden's spending framework

President Biden Thursday proposed spending $ 100 billion in its $ 1.85 trillion domestic policy bill to protect millions of undocumente...


President Biden Thursday proposed spending $ 100 billion in its $ 1.85 trillion domestic policy bill to protect millions of undocumented immigrants, pushing to save a broader immigration overhaul that has stalled in Congress.

Democrats’ efforts to allow such measures to graft onto the social safety net and climate legislation have so far failed, due to strict budget rules that limit what can be included.

House Democrats plan to try to include one anyway, to appease colleagues who have said they cannot support a plan that lacks help for undocumented migrants, and to buy time to devise an alternative that could survive the obscure Senate rules.

Mr Biden’s plan would recover hundreds of thousands of unused visas dating back to 1992 and protect millions of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for years from deportation. It also includes $ 2.8 billion for U.S. citizenship and immigration services to more efficiently process migrants’ documents.

The Senate parliamentarian, the chief enforcer of house rules, has repeatedly rejected Democrats’ efforts to include such measures in the bill, which is going through Congress as part of a process special known as reconciliation that protects him from obstruction. Only provisions that have a direct impact on government revenues can be included in such bills, and the parliamentarian ruled that two other immigration measures do not pass this test.

House Democrats plan to include one of these disqualified plans in their bill: a change of date in the immigration register, which allows otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States on an ongoing basis since January 1, 2011 to adjust their status and gain citizenship.

They expect the provision to be overturned by the parliamentarian, who said the policy change far outweighed its fiscal impact. They plan to replace it later with a proposal costing roughly the same amount, once they find an alternative that can survive under Senate rules.

Senate Democrats have passed a back-up plan to expand the Homeland Security Secretary’s power to grant temporary status known as parole to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for a decade, provide them with work permits and protect them from deportation. Work permits would last for five years and then have to be renewed for another five. The parliamentarian has not yet commented on this proposal.

Immigration advocates have applauded Mr Biden’s decision to insist that an immigration overhaul be included in the reconciliation package as proof that they could achieve certain aspects of reform while Democrats hold the two chambers of Congress and the presidency.

“One way or another, we expect immigration reform to be in the final bill and win freedom for millions of immigrants,” said Lorella Praeli, co-chair of Community Change Action.

The Biden administration has already made policy changes to immigration enforcement priorities that would make most people eligible for relief in budget proposals a low priority for arrest and deportation. But these measures are far from permanent and can be overturned by another president.

Eileen Sullivan contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Immigration overhaul is part of Biden's spending framework
Immigration overhaul is part of Biden's spending framework
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