For the second time in a week, Democrats’ efforts to add a pathway to citizenship for immigrants were blocked by Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough.
Democrats attempted to add a provision to the budget reconciliation process, changing the registry date from 1972 to 2010 for the legalization of thousands of immigrants.
However, MacDonough – who advises the Senate on rules and protocols – said the registry proposal’s impact far exceeds its budgetary implications, and she rejected Democrats’ arguments to include the measure.
The fight for reform is “far from over”
Democrats sought to add immigration reform to the budget process as many see it as the only way to achieve meaningful reform before the end of the year. However, party leaders vowed to keep fighting despite the disappointment.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durban said Democrats would continue to find a way to include it in the budget reconciliation bill. Others say they already have a plan C in the works but aren’t sure when it will be ready to go before the parliamentarian.
The White House moves to protect DACA
Immigration advocates were also disappointed by the two unfavorable rulings, but Immigration Hub Executive Director Sergio Gonzales says it’s not the “final straw.” In the meantime, the Biden administration took steps to strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
The move seeks to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. The Biden administration is looking to protect this group, known as “Dreamers,” allowing them to stay and work in the U.S. as many are now adults.