Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  2 weeks ago  •  8 comments

By:   Nolan Rappaport (MSN)

Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing
Democrats could start by focusing on helping aliens who were brought to the US illegally by their parents.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

I don't understand why President Joseph Biden sent his U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress. It has little, if any, chance of passing, and it may cause the Democrats to lose their majorities in the House and the Senate.

© Getty Images Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing

Moreover, it will make many people very angry if it causes a major surge in illegal immigration while we are still in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

The Democrats have a slim majority of 10 seats in the House and in the Senate, an even split requires Vice President Kamala Harris's vote to break ties in the Democrats' favor. They will need ten Republican votes to stop a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

This is a very precarious situation.

According to Gallup, the president's party almost always suffers a net loss of House seats in midterm elections.

It won't take much for the Democrats to lose their majority in the House, just a net loss of five seats - and just a single seat in the Senate.

This means that Biden may only have two years to pass immigration legislation.

The legalization provisions in his bill are particularly problematic.

Biden's plan would permit undocumented people to apply for temporary legal status and then for green cards five years later. Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers may be eligible for green cards immediately.

Migrants from all over the world would come to the United States for a chance to participate in this legalization program, and Biden has taken steps to ensure that ICE will leave the vast majority of them alone once they have reached the interior of the country.

His Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson has given ICE employees enforcement guidelines that establish priority categories, and - with a few exceptions - ICE officers will need preapproval to undertake an enforcement action against an undocumented alien who is not in one of the priority categories:

  1. National Security. Aliens who have engaged in or are suspected of engaging in terrorism or espionage, or whose apprehension is otherwise necessary to protect national security.
  1. Border Security. Aliens who are apprehended at the border or a port of entry while attempting to enter unlawfully.
  1. Public Safety. Aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony or an offense involving active participation in a criminal street gang or a transnational criminal organization.

To obtain preapproval, an officer must "raise a written justification through the chain of command, explaining why the action otherwise constitutes a justified allocation of limited resources, and identify the date, time, and location the enforcement action or removal is expected to take place."

This completely replaces the deportation grounds written by Congress, which may violate the separation of powers provision in the Constitution.

Moreover, the guidelines virtually guarantee that the aliens being legalized would be replaced by a new group of undocumented aliens in the not too distant future, which is what happened after the implementation of the legalization program in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

This may be the primary reason there has not been another major legalization program since 1986.

According to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the bill has "no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement."

Even Democrats are concerned about the health risk of a surge in illegal immigration during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), "The way we're doing it right now is catastrophic and is a recipe for disaster in the middle of a pandemic ... If we go off the rails, it's going to be bad for us ... Biden is going to be dealing with a minority in Congress if he continues down some of these paths."

The Republicans will do whatever they have to do to prevent Biden's legalization programs from being established.

If the Democrats are serious about immigration reform, they need to split Biden's bill into individual pieces of legislation that have a realistic chance of being passed, which apparently is what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) intends to do.

A proposal

The Democrats could start by focusing on helping aliens who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents when they were children - the "Dreamers." This is a very sympathetic group. Even former President Donald Trump wanted to help them.

Trump offered a legalization program for 1.8 million of them, but the Democrats would not agree to the concessions he demanded. The most intractable demand was his insistence on eliminating chain migration to prevent the Dreamers' parents from obtaining lawful permanent resident (LPR) status from them after the Dreamers had become citizens.

Apparently, the Democrats were holding out for a DREAM Act like the American Hope Act of 2017.

My proposal is to give up on trying to pass a DREAM Act and work on creating a place in the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program for aliens who were brought here illegally when they were children. This humanitarian program was established to provide LPR status for undocumented alien children who should not be returned to their own countries because they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both of their parents.

Modifying the SIJ program to include undocumented aliens who were brought here by their parents would not benefit their parents, so chain migration would not be an issue. The SIJ provisions take away a participant's right to confer immigration benefits on his parents when he becomes an LPR: INA §101(a)(27)(J)(iii)(II) states that, "no natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any alien provided special immigrant status under this subparagraph shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this Act."

The Democrats could have helped these children during former President Barack Obama's administration. From January 2009 to January 2011, they had a strong majority in the House, and until Scott Brown's special election in 2010, a filibuster-busting majority in the Senate. But they failed to take advantage of that opportunity.

It would be a shame if they miss the opportunity this time too.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow his blog at


jrDiscussion - desc
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Seems as if the Biden Administration is over-reaching.

Maybe they need to be apprised of immigration laws?

Greg Jones
Masters Participates
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Texan1211 @1    2 weeks ago

Their dimwitted quest for votes exceeds their common sense and clouds their minds to unintended consequences. This bone headed decision to pander will cost them a good portion of the seats that they precariously hold both Houses.

PhD Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    2 weeks ago

I hope so.

Of course, they seem to think (along with plenty of other Democrats) that the GOP is dead, so they won't be too concerned with the midterms--to their own detriment.

Pandering to illegal aliens seems wrong to me, what do you think?


Senior Participates
1.1.2  arkpdx  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

I don't think that pandering to illegal immigrants/aliens is wrong, I know for certain it is wrong absolutely wrong. 

PhD Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  arkpdx @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

agreed. but Democrats seem hell bent on doing it.

Professor Expert
2  1stwarrior    2 weeks ago

The DACA folks have been in the U.S. for awhile in most cases.  They've had plenty of time to file/apply, through the existing system, for their "path toward citizenship".  They should not be given any preference over the folks who have been waiting for YEARS to get their applications reviewed/processed/approved.

Send those who haven't tried back to their home country and let them apply like the existing laws require.

MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  1stwarrior @2    2 weeks ago
They should not be given any preference over the folks who have been waiting for YEARS to get their applications reviewed/processed/approved.

AMEN! I know SO many people [people I work with every day] that have been legally attaining their citizenship, denouncing citizenship in the country in which they were born [India requires that], many years dealing with the existing system, and they've expressed frustration regarding people "squatting" and being fast-tracked through the citizenship process, because of certain circumstances.

PhD Guide
3  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

Something compassionate should be done for minors brought here. Maybe a very long path to citizenship? 

But adults who come here illegally should never be granted citizenship unless they are willing to leave and return legally.


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