Biden Signals He’s Flexible on Immigration Overhaul
WASHINGTON – President Biden has repeatedly said he wants to pave the way for citizenship for all 11 million unspecified immigrants in the United States.
But by the time he agrees to work hard for the widest possible overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, he and his allies have begun to signal an openness to more targeted approaches that allow small, undivided immigrants Can win citizenship for discrete groups. On a CNN Town Hall On Tuesday, he said such efforts would be acceptable “in the meantime”.
In a private phone call with activists on Wednesday, Mr Biden’s top immigration aides said he supported a “multiple train” strategy, which could target citizenship for “Dreamers”, illegally among children. The young immigrants brought were found; Farmers who have been cultivating American farms for years; And others.
The smaller bill could go ahead as the president tries to build support for the sweeping legislation that was to be introduced on Thursday, according to two people who were on call.
If he chooses to move forward step-by-step, Mr. Biden is unlikely to offend the most powerful pro-immigration groups, who are adopting a more pragmatic strategy after the spectacular defeats under President George W. Bush and Barack Obama Huh.
For more than two decades, activists have tried to fail to secure a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that would pave the way for citizenship for most undivided immigrants, a faster route for Dreamers, skilled skilled workers. Extended visa access and new program for seasonal agricultural laborers.
They are betting that Mr. Biden will struggle even more than his predecessors, gaining support from the Republican Party that became more anti-immigrant during the Trump administration.
While Mr. Biden is willing to try for a bipartisan deal this year, he warns that he will not always wait.
“We want to legalize 11 million people. This is our North Star, ”said Frank Sharry, executive director of Voice of America and a veteran of immigration wars in the nation’s capital for more than 30 years. “But we can’t come home empty-handed. We are not going to adopt an all or nothing. We have to achieve a breakthrough. “
This is a major shift for people like Mr. Sharry, and it can lead to a heavy debate on whether Democrats should use parliamentary strategy in the Senate through individual immigration measures without any Republican support.
Activists are mobilizing on behalf of separate bills that would legalize Dreamers; Farm workers; Migrants granted temporary status after war and natural disasters; And unspecified “essential workers” who have fought on the frontline of the coronovirus epidemic.
Publicly, the White House is insisting that Congress should pass a broad immigration overhaul of the president. White House press secretary, Jane Saki, said this week that Mr Biden was insisting on sweeping changes because “they all need to be addressed – so they proposed them together.”
And Mr. Biden’s chief proponent of legislation in Congress – Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Representative Linda T. of California. Sanchez – says that it would also be a mistake to abandon the wider effort before it has begun. Details about the president’s legislation are expected to be revealed on Thursday morning after Mr. Menendez and Ms. Sanchez appear in the House.
A Democratic aide familiar with the law said that if immigration workers only ask for “half a loaf”, they should not be surprised when they end up going home with just a slice of bread.
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Mendez said Wednesday evening, “We have an economic and moral imperative to pass big, bold and inclusive immigration reform – reform. He criticized the advocates for not being ready for the battle of the law, which ultimately led to the country’s Will legalize all of the undivided population.
“We should not start concessions out of the gate. We are not going to start with two million unspecified people instead of 11 million, ”he said. “We will never win an argument we don’t have the courage to make.” We must make our case bold, inclusive and for permanent immigration reform. “
How to successfully revise the nation’s immigration system for Washington’s removal policymakers for decades. The last time a major immigration bill was signed into law was in 1990, when President George Bush expanded legal immigration to the United States, ahead of the explosion of illegal crossings on the southwestern border over the next 20 years.
The increase in illegal border crossings also prompted increased enforcement demands from conservatives as the backlog in legal immigration created a growing crisis for businesses looking for workers and families seeking refuge in the United States from violence and disasters at home for.
For nearly three decades, immigration has been argued in favor of a single, comprehensive bill with elements that could unite Democrats and Republicans, labor unions and big businesses, security-minded conservatives and liberal immigration advocates.
Such bills – which were introduced in 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2013 – centered around a trade-off: border security and immigration law enforcement in exchange for a path to citizenship for unnatural people. They also included an increase in the number of temporary workers allowed in the United States; More resources for processing asylum applications; New opportunities for high-skilled workers from other countries; Some limitations of immigration based on family ties; And protection for undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children.
But none of those efforts were successful. Despite the support of President George W. Bush, the Senate and House failed to reach an agreement in 2006, and in 2007 the legislation was defeated in the Senate. In 2013, Mr. Obama secured the Bipartisan Senate of 68 to 32 after an immigration overhaul, only to see that the Republican-controlled House ignore it. In the last four years, some conservative sides of the equation – border security – were secured as harsh restrictions on asylum seekers and partial construction of Mr. Trump’s border wall.
Mr. Biden won in partisanship, saying he would bring back bipartisanship, and could say that his long-standing relationship in the Senate would help him bridge the partisan divide that has developed in recent years. Ms Psaki said the president outlined the principles of “what we think the proposal should look at” in hopes of addressing the root causes of immigration problems.
But immigration advocates say the history of failure is prompting a change in strategy this year.
“You are talking about a fight that we have been in for more than three decades,” said Community Change Action chair Lorella Preilly. “I am not interested in dance. I am committed to seeing and delivering this through concrete changes. “
Ms. Preilly and other supporters praised Mr. Biden, Mr. Menendez and Ms. Sanchez for their extensive bill. But he also called on the president to promise that he would also use a budgetary tool known as concordance so that they could implement even the smallest components of the law, as they move through the larger effort.
Under Senate rules, legislation that significantly affects the nation’s budget can only be passed with a majority vote, avoiding filibuster rules that require the support of 60 senators. With the current 50-50 Senate, that would give Democrats the ability to pass the reconciliation bill without Republican support and cast a tiebreaking vote with Vice President Kamala Harris – if they can remain united.
Immigration proposers say some more targeted efforts to legalize some unspecified immigrants will pass under the sometimes shocking rules of cohesion, which is to prevent net policy measures from the bills needed to deal with government taxation and spending. Because the new legal residents will affect tax revenue and government benefits, the groups say immigration legislation can be adapted as budget measures.
Reconciliation is already being used for muscle through Mr. Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, but another budget measure is expected to address infrastructure financing and climate change.
“We should join that package,” said Mr. Sharry of Voice of America.
Mr. Biden’s immigration efforts confronted Mr. Obama and George W. More headlines than Bush.
Several Republican senators who were supporters of immigration – including John McCain and Arizona’s Jeff Flake; Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee; Orin Hatch of Utah; Dean Heller of Nevada; And others – have left the Senate. Others, such as Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who helped negotiate previous immigration packages, moved right over the Trump years.
Kerry Talbot, deputy director of the immigration hub, said it was clear to many groups that Republicans could not be counted on to support such extreme measures without a comprehensive overhaul of immigration, which Mr. Trump stressed during his presidency Had given. She said Republicans would be put on the spot, following small, popular measures such as providing legalization for Dreamers.
“We are always open to having a comprehensive discussion, but absent, we want to move forward with pieces that can pass,” she said. “We would love to be bipartisan. I would like that conversation again. But it really depends on the Republicans. “
Ms Preilly said that she and others who have fought over immigration for years believed that the “WK” could be put on board to pave the way for citizenship.
“We’re in a different moment,” said Ms. Preilly, who became a citizen in 2015 after being unspecified after her arrival in the United States as a young child. “We can see that Trump is no longer here, but Trumpism did not go away.”