Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has made it clear that comprehensive immigration reform will be a top priority of his administration, including securing a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.
However, even some of Biden’s allies on Capitol Hill have admitted that getting Biden’s immigration bill passed in the Senate won’t be an easy task.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said the effort will amount to “a Herculean task,” Fox News reported.
“As someone who has been in these battles for nearly two decades, I am under no illusions,” Menendez said. “I know from my time in the Gang of Eight that passing immigration reform through the Senate particularly is a Herculean task.”
Creating open borders
Fox News noted that under the provision of the Citizenship Act of 2021, those admitted as farm workers or recipients of Temporary Protective Status would immediately become eligible to apply for green cards.
That opportunity would also be extended to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, while individuals who were illegally present on Jan. 1 of this year could begin an 8-year path to citizenship.
That proposal was condemned by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who argued that the proposal “would gut enforcement of American laws while creating huge new incentives for people to rush here illegally at the same time.”
“This kind of failed approach will invite another humanitarian crisis on our border and privilege powerful interests ahead of American workers,” he added.
Law and order
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been sympathetic to calls for immigration reform in the past, expressed opposition to Biden’s plan.
“America should always welcome immigrants who want to become Americans,” he said in a statement. “But we need laws that decide who and how many people can come here, and those laws must be followed and enforced.”
“There are many issues I think we can work cooperatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” Rubio added.
During his presidential campaign, Biden called for increased immigration, telling Iowa’s Asian & Latino Coalition in August of 2019 that the United States “could afford to take in a heartbeat another two million people.”