The Senate parliamentarian is getting ready to hear arguments Friday on why Democrats think they can — and should — include a pathway to legal status in their $3.5 trillion dollar spending plan.
Democrats need to prove that the proposal is inline with budget reconciliation requirements and show that their proposed immigration reforms will impact federal spending, revenue, or the debt.
The budget resolution is a document that broadly states what the federal government should spend and receive in revenue over the next fiscal year. It can’t be filibustered and can pass with a simple majority. The bill might be the only chance Congress has to pass immigration reform, since bipartisan talks on the matter have stalled.
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, a former immigration attorney, isn’t expected to make a final decision immediately, and she’s ruled against Democratic initiatives in the past.
The package is said to include a pathway to legal status for undocumented children, those with Temporary Protected Status, and farmworkers. It also includes additional child care subsidies, incentives for clean energy, a new paid family leave program, and more.
The resolution allocates $107 billion to provide legal permanent status to undocumented immigrants as well as improve border security.
The bill doesn’t say how many people or who exactly would be eligible for a path to citizenship, only stating that lawful permanent residence be provided to “qualified immigrants.”
Biden included a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants as part of his immigration agenda, but that bill is currently stalled in Congress.
Lawmakers have until Sept. 15 to submit their detailed legislation.