A new report from the Miami Herald indicates that Senate Democrats are trying to include an amnesty deal in the upcoming infrastructure bill.
If passed, this would have the potential of granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in America. And, as we shall see, there might be little that the Republicans can do about it.
According to the Miami Herald, one of the Democrats that is leading this push is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Menendez, the Herald reports, has “pressed Vice President Kamala Harris in a private meeting this week to include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in legislation that includes the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal.”
A spokesperson for Menendez, according to the Herald, confirmed that this is true, adding that, in the words of the Herold, “Menendez would like to see the immigration proposal attached to any bill that lawmakers and Biden decide to move forward with.”
A similar push is being led, according to the Associated Press, by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
According to the Associated Press, Sanders, along with his colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee, are currently putting together an infrastructure plan that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to illegal immigrants who are “essential” to the American economy, and to illegal immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The big question
This, of course, is what are the chances that an infrastructure package with such an amnesty plan will have a chance of being passed. And, at the moment, the answer is unclear.
What we know is that Biden and the Democrats, one way or another, have to get their infrastructure proposal through the Senate. And, this is proving to be a difficult task even without including this amnesty stuff.
Senate Republicans, in general, have not agreed to Biden’s proposal causing negotiations to fall through. Now, it appears as though Senate Democrats are going to try to use the reconciliation procedure to bypass the Senate filibuster. But, here, too, things are not so simple for them. There is at least one Senate Democrat – Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) – who has come out as against using reconciliation to pass a partisan bill.
The worry for Biden and the Democrats has to be that including amnesty in an infrastructure deal runs the risk of driving even more Senate Democrats away. So, it would be a risky thing to try.
But, given what we have seen from the Biden administration already, anything seems possible.