In a meeting at the White House with Democratic lawmakers, Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for the radical notion of including mass amnesty for illegal aliens in the proposed reconciliation bill, according to CNN.
Biden met with 11 lawmakers – five senators and six members of the House – on Thursday to discuss a possible amnesty deal following the latest blow to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide blanket amnesty to illegal aliens who came into the country as minors.
Judge Andrew Hanen, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled earlier this month that as the law had been implemented via executive order only after its legislative counterpart, the DREAM Act, failed to pass through Congress, the law was unconstitutional. The order blocks any future illegals from applying for the amnesty, but does not affect current or past applicants.
Although Biden has vowed to resist the ruling via his Department of Justice, the development has led to a revival of proposed legislative routes to pass such amnesty. Biden voiced his support for including a similar amnesty plan in the proposed $3.5 trillion budget plan, which would be passed through the process of “reconciliation,” meaning it cannot be filibustered and thus would only need 51 votes in the Senate to pass. As the Senate is currently tied 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote needed to pass such a bill.
“He knows the challenges we face,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Majority Whip, after the meeting. “He’s with us. He made it clear to us, unequivocally clear.” Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, reaffirmed his belief that “reconciliation is the only option.”
Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) compared such a potential amnesty plan to the significance of the 1969 moon landing, saying that “this isn’t just important, this process, this opportunity right here truly is our moonshot and it’s just – we’re so grateful the president reaffirmed his support for the cause, for the issue and for this approach.”
There are several proposals as to who would be included in the amnesty plan, from the so-called “Dreamers” to illegals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), as well as illegal aliens currently working in jobs that have been declared “essential,” as another round of coronavirus-related lockdowns appear to be on the horizon.
But the reconciliation bill may still face hurdles even despite the reduced threshold for passage, as Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) recently voiced her opposition to the bill due to her belief that the $3.5 trillion price tag is too high. Her announcement led to criticism by far-left Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and further revealed the true extent of the divides within the Congressional Democratic caucus between moderates and radicals.