Democrats Face Tough Odds of Passing Immigration Bill Before 2023

As the lame-duck session of Congress draws closer to its end, Democrats attempting to pass a mass amnesty bill have come to realize that most Republican senators have no interest in voting in favor of any such bill.

According to Politico, Democrats are intent on passing some form of amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens who were brought into the country as children, colloquially referred to as “Dreamers.” The name stems from a failed amnesty bill passed by the U.S. Senate in 2013 called the “DREAM Act,” which then failed to pass the GOP-controlled House of Representatives. Then-President Barack Obama then decided to circumvent Congress by implementing much of the proposed bill as an executive order, which has since faced numerous legal challenges due to its unconstitutional nature.

Top Democrats have thus seized on this lame-duck period of Congress to try to pass a bill of any kind before the GOP takes control of the House again in January. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Democrats “want to get it done,” while Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that “the time to act is now.”

However, even Republicans who were once supportive of such amnesty have turned against the Democrats in their eleventh-hour push for a new bill. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who led the bipartisan negotiations on the 2013 legislation, recently said that Democrats have to be “crazy” to try to force through a lame-duck bill now, and are most likely “trying to do it, probably, to please some activist groups.”

Similarly, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the one other remaining Republican in the Senate who was part of the so-called “Gang of 8” that negotiated the 2013 bill, declared that “there’s no way you’re going to get anybody on our side to do an immigration bill with a broken border.”

The surprising reluctance from formerly pro-amnesty Republicans is a sign of the GOP’s shift to the right on immigration since 2013, which has been especially influenced by the rise and enduring popularity of President Donald Trump. Since Joe Biden took power, the border has also become a much more pressing issue due to Biden’s open-border approach; his refusal to enforce many immigration laws has led to the largest surge in illegal aliens across the border in modern history, producing multiple crises from health concerns to the further spread of deadly drugs, to increased human and sex trafficking.

If Democrats cannot get at least 10 Republicans to join in support of such a bill, then any one Republican senator can kill the bill by filibustering it until the session is over. Once the new Congress is sworn in in January, Democrats are expected to either retain a 50-50 Senate or a 51-49 majority, but with Republicans controlling the House by a majority as small as 3-5 seats.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

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