The Hill reports that the Biden administration has rolled out its immigration bill, providing a pathway to citizenship for at least 11 million illegal immigrants — a group it likely sees as potential Democratic voters. Some takeaways:
- Rather than trade amnesty for some illegal immigrants in exchange for increased immigration/border enforcement, as was done in prior legislative attempts, Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 primarily focuses on expanding immigration.
- The bill increases the number of diversity visas from 55,000 to 80,000. Because those receiving the visas will eventually be eligible to bring family members to the U.S., the overall number of immigrants from countries that currently have low levels of immigration will likely be more substantial. The bill also triples the number of visas available to those who have been victims of certain crimes, such as domestic violence. Moreover, employment-based visas increase from 140,000 to 170,000.
- The White House refused to say whether Biden would consider attempting to pass the bill through the reconciliation process, which allows fiscal legislation to pass by simple majority. Translation: They will likely try to pass it by reconciliation (provided Joe Manchin, as well as Democrats up for reelection in 2022, go along).
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on illegal immigration, at which I testified. Listening to the Democrats on the committee, it was abundantly plain that open borders and lax/nonexistent interior enforcement will dominate immigration policy for the next four years. The concerns and well-being of American workers, millions of whom remain unemployed due to the pandemic, were waved away with utter disdain.