On Thursday the Democrats in the US Congress suffered a major setback in their certain effort to grant work permits to millions of immigrants who have been staying in the United States illegally for more than a decade or longer.
Elizabeth MacDonough who is a Senate parliamentarian and advises lawmakers on what can be accepted under legislature rules rejected the inclusion of the proposal of Democrats in President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill.
Senator Dick Durbin who is the no. 2 Senate Democrat, stated to reporters that he was “disappointed and we’re considering what options remain.”
The parliamentarian rejected two other Democratic attempts previously to bundle provisions of immigration into Biden’s domestic investment bill.
On Thursday MacDonough rejected the proposal stating that it would increase the deficit by $131 billion over 10 years and even stated “substantial policy changes with lasting effects,” which had already been considered and thrown out previously, according to the text of the decision sent to lawmakers.
Her decision could shut the door on Democrats’ hopes of passing immigration reform anytime soon, since it could be even tougher to pass a bill next year as lawmakers shift the attention to their 2022 November re-election campaigns.
And if Republicans win their control of the House or Senate in the contests, any easing of immigration policy can be on a back-burner for more years to come.
With immigration legislation now not that likely, Democrats and advocates can shift their focus to forcing Biden to address immigration policy through actions that are executive.
Democrats passed a spending package of Biden which is known as the Build Back Better bill – in November in the House of Representatives, amid opposition of the Republicans, and chose to do the same in the Senate.
The liberal Center for American Progress which is a think tank predicted that 7 million immigrants could be eligible for temporary protection against deportation and work permits under the plan of the Democrats.
Republicans have highly criticized Biden for undoing several restrictive immigration policies of Donald Trump who is the former President and have opposed efforts of the Democrats to pass broader immigration legislation.