As 2021 ends, the door has closed on the last major attempt at “immigration reform” in Congress, aka amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
This time, in a procedural move, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against a plan by Senate Democrats to include immigration reform provisions in their nearly $2 trillion “Build Back Better” social spending bill. The defeat marked the third attempt at including amnesty in a spending bill in the past few months.
A so-called “clean bill” on immigration reform which contains amnesty for illegal immigrants would almost certainly fail.
These efforts demonstrate how some lawmakers are increasingly willing to co-op major spending and economic legislation with politically toxic stealth amnesty provisions.
Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has been at the forefront of grassroots efforts to stop stealth amnesties. At the heart of the amnesty fight in the second half of 2021 was West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who initially signaled that he would back various amnesty proposals from the Biden administration. CAPS launched a targeted digital advertising and radio campaign in West Virginia exposing Senator Manchin’s backdoor maneuvering on immigration reform, and shortly thereafter he publicly walked back support for the deal.
CAPS Ad calling on Joe Manchin to put West Virginians first:
Manchin recently grabbed headlines again when he bucked his party by refusing to support President Biden’s final iteration of the “Build Back Better” spending bill in 2021, but kept the door open to it in 2022.
What we do know is that Congressional Democrats will almost certainly push similar amnesty provisions in spending bills in 2022. In a joint statement, six senators, including ranking members Chuck Schumer and Durbin, pledged as much: “We strongly disagree with the Senate parliamentarian’s interpretation of our immigration proposal, and we will pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act.”
If the past is an indicator, 2022 will likely see the same posturing on immigration in Congress. Knowing that clean bills on immigration reform are dead on arrival, lawmakers will try to sneak amnesty provisions into major social and economic legislation and hope that Americans don’t notice.
That’s why it’s critical we keep fighting and exposing the latest schemes in Washington to ram through a stealth amnesty disguised as a social spending bill to help Americans.