The morning after a federal judge in Texas detained new applicants for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Biden asked Congress to find a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and suggested using budget reconciliation to do so.
“Yesterday’s federal court ruling is deeply disappointing,” Biden said in a statement Saturday.
“The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision to preserve and strengthen DACA. And, as the court recognized, the Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule on DACA in the near future, ”he added. “But only Congress can secure a permanent solution by providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve.”
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“I have repeatedly asked Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and now I renew that call with the utmost urgency,” he said, urging the Senate to do so “through reconciliation or other means.”
This year’s Senate bipartisan immigration reform negotiations have been unproductive. Passing provisions on immigration through reconciliation would allow Senate Democrats to avoid obstructionism, passing the legislation with just 50 votes, presumably along partisan lines, and with a runoff vote cast by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Friday’s ruling comes as Democrats were already considering whether to include legislation to protect the Dreamers in their mass reconciliation package. A source said CNN This week, Senate Democrats are considering setting aside $ 120 billion to create a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, farm workers, essential workers and those with Temporary Protected Status.
When asked what he thought about including immigration provisions in the reconciliation package this week, Joe Manchin, potentially a key vote, said yes. “penalty fee“With that.
It is unclear whether such a move would go to the Senate MP and could ultimately be included in the reconciliation package. Some advocates have pointed to a 2005 ruling by the parliamentarian who allowed changes in immigration policy through reconciliation.
However, there has been growing agreement among advocates that reconciliation offers the last best hope to achieve something.
“Even after 25 long years of inaction to pass immigration reform, these DREAMers, many of them also essential workers, deserve security and, above all, a royal path to citizenship,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) , a leader in the House Hispanic Caucus, wrote in opinion piece this week. “And budget reconciliation will be the only way to do it.”