- Who qualifies for the immigration reform?
- More than 8 million undocumented people would benefit from it.
- Will Democrats Pass the Immigration Reform?
Democrats present immigration reform and confirm who qualifies. Democrats in the United States Senate proposed this Friday to legalize 8 million undocumented immigrants as part of an Immigration Reform.
The Democrats made that proposal during the meeting they held this Friday with the Republicans and the Senate “parliamentarian”, Elizabeth MacDonough, in charge of interpreting the rules of the legislative process to approve the reform.
Democrats present their immigration reform
That meeting was similar to a “trial” in which Democrats and Republicans presented their arguments to MacDonough, who must issue a kind of “ruling”, something that is not imminent and will not occur at least until next week, according to a Democratic source who spoke for Efe.
In addition, the Democrats defended that all the requirements are met to approve migratory changes alone through a process known as “reconciliation” and that allows a budget law to be carried out in the Senate with a simple majority of 50 votes, instead of the 60 normally needed.
Democrats present immigration reform and confirm who qualifies
Democrats called for the regularization of four groups that number 8 million migrants: the “dreamers”, the farm workers, the essential workers (such as medical personnel) and the migrants who have accessed an immigration protection called Temporary Protected Status (TPS). , in English).
Democrats want to use the “reconciliation” mechanism because they do not have 60 supporters: they have a narrow majority of 50 seats, although they could reach 51 with the backing of Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as Speaker of the Upper House.
Democrats present immigration reform for the undocumented
However, something that could make the papers difficult for undocumented people living in the United States is that the Democrats do not have any support from the senators of the Republican Party, who for decades have opposed passing immigration reform.
For MacDonough to stand in their favor, Democrats had to prove that immigration changes will have an impact on the federal budget and that this impact will be substantial and not “merely incidental,” as defined in the so-called Byrd Rule, called thus by the late Senator Robert Byrd, who was in charge of establishing the rules of the process.
The cost of giving papers to millions
To prove that point, the Democrats assured that regularizing 8 million people will cost the State coffers of 139,000 million dollars, over a period of 10 years, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the said source explained to Efe.
Specifically, the regularization of these migrants would have a cost because they could automatically access social programs, such as food assistance vouchers. Ironically, Democrats are using the argument Republicans have used for years to oppose immigration reform.
They demand the regularization of the undocumented
For Republicans, regularizing migrants will cost the State. They need to test that idea to approve the changes through the “reconciliation” process. However, in the last hours, a group of 50 economists argued that the migratory changes would also bring great economic benefits to the United States.
Such as the increase in the level of wages, the creation of jobs and the exit from poverty of many families. The group of economists presented those arguments in a letter they sent to the Democratic leadership of Congress to ask for the regularization of the undocumented.
Millions of immigrants have helped the United States.
Among the signatories are economics professors from major US universities, as well as Jason Furman, who was Barack Obama’s main economic adviser, Efe points out. In a statement sent to Efe, the president of the FWD.us organization, Todd Schulte, recalled that millions of immigrants have helped the United States.
This, during the COVID-19 pandemic, urged Congress and the US President, Joe Biden, to protect these families now. In that sense, Claudia Flores, from Center for American Progress (CAP), considered that opening a path to citizenship is “what is morally and socially correct.”
Crucial days to pass citizenship for millions
It has been 35 years since Congress passed a law with a path to citizenship for a large group of migrants.
The last time was in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a law that allowed 3 million undocumented immigrants to be regularized.
Democrats started this Friday the “crucial” days in which it will be known whether immigration reform can be included in the process of “budget reconciliation” and thus be able to open a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants. And they face the challenge with “optimism.”
The keys to obtaining the papers with the immigration reform
The decision of the official is not imminent and it is not binding, which means that the head of the Democratic Senate majority, Chuck Schumer, of New York, could have some margin of decision, although the process is not yet in that phase. , says Efe.
Right now, the key is whether this immigration reform will have a substantial impact on the economy of the United States and for that reason it can be included in “budget reconciliation”, a legislative route that would avoid the Republican blockade in the Senate.
The papers will not be for everyone
The president, Joe Biden, after his inauguration in January, proposed a comprehensive reform of the immigration system that included a process to grant permanent residence and, eventually, citizenship to some 11 to 12 million immigrants.
That idea did not get enough support and Democrats chose to focus on four groups: those protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, known as “dreamers”) program, those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). ), agricultural workers and those classified as “essential”.
Closer than ever to papers
“I have always said that the Democrats must not abandon any option to obtain a path to citizenship for the dreamers, tepesian (protected by TPS) and agricultural and essential workers, “Senator Bob Menéndez, a Democrat from New Jersey, told Efe.
“And that is exactly what we do taking advantage of this moment,” he added. “We trust the arguments we have prepared for the ‘parliamentarian’.” And a congressional source told Efe that “the Democrats are united, from President Biden to the leaders in Congress” in this objective, the final result of which will be known in a few weeks. “We are very optimistic.”
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