A Senate Democratic committee – headed by the office of Leader Charles Schumer – is preparing to meet this week with the Upper House’s top aide, attorney Elizabeth MacDonough, and formally deliver the so-called ‘Plan C’ immigration as part of the ‘budget reconciliation’ package that will be evaluated by senators.
“Last week there was a first approach. Now we are wind that the earliest to meet will be in the next few hours (one or two days) at the latest “a source familiar with the closed-door conversations told Univision Noticias.
“Last week’s meeting was a technical step to anticipate this week’s talks. We will meet two delegations, a Democrat and a Republican to deliver arguments, “he added.
The source specified that “this time we will do it in a formal way, as when it was done with ‘Plan A’. We expect Attorney MacDonough to respond as soon as Friday or the weekend, ”he said. The evaluation of MacDonough, who has the position known in English as ‘parliamentarian’, is crucial because it is who finally decides if the immigration plans of the Democrats can be included within the ‘budget reconciliation’ package.
What is migratory ‘Plan C’ about
Is about an immigration clause that will be included in President Joe Biden’s so-called social spending plan that will be evaluated in the Senate after its approval in the House of Representatives the second week of November.
The project creates a new temporary immigration program for some seven million undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since before January 1, 2011.
The beneficiaries they will qualify for employment authorization, travel authorization, driver’s licenses, and health care coverage after one year. Five years after receiving the provisional protection of deportation, immigrants will be able to access certain public assistance such as medical insurance (Medicaid).
‘Plan C’ will be added as an amendment to the ‘budget reconciliation’ package in the hands of the Senate.
And the ‘reconciliation package’
On March 18, the House of Representatives approved with bipartisan support two bills granting temporary residency for 10 years to some 8 million dreamers, holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and agricultural workers. At the end of that term, they would qualify for permanent residence and, three years later, they would be eligible for citizenship.
Both plans were sent to the Senate, where 60 votes are required to pass and Democrats only have 50. Republicans rejected both proposals and made their votes conditional on solving the crisis on the border with Mexico.
As both initiatives stalled, Democrats chose to include the proposals in a “reconciliation package” of the social spending budget that also does not have Republican votes. This tool allows Democrats to approve with a simple majority –51 votes – Biden’s social spending plan, lowered from $ 3.5 billion (trillions in English) to $ 1.75 billion to secure the 50 endorsements of the Democratic caucus and the vote of the vice president, Kamala Harris.
But to include the immigration issue, the approval regulations require the approval of the ‘parliamentarian’ because it is a matter related to the Budget Law.
On September 19, MacDonough rejected the inclusion in the budget package of the immigration plans approved by the House of Representatives on March 18 and known as ‘Plan A’.
On September 30, the ‘parliamentarian’ rejected a second attempt that recommended moving the date of the so-called Registry Law to give between 6 and 8 million undocumented immigrants permanent legal residence.
The Registry Act is an old rule of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a provision that allows certain undocumented aliens who are in the United States as of January 1, 1972, have no criminal record and have good moral character, apply for legal permanent residence (LPR or ‘Green Card’).
Democrats recommended moving the stay date to January 1, 2011 and thereby allowing the legalization of some 8 million undocumented immigrants.
MacDonough told the Democratic advisory panel who submitted both bills that the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants “far exceeds the budget impact assigned to it,” and therefore “is not appropriate for inclusion in the reconciliation.”
The ‘parliamentarian’ further argues that lawful permanent resident status “comes with a wide range of benefits that go beyond social safety net programs”, and that, generally speaking, “given that most of the beneficiaries of this policy change have no status, there will be other life-changing federal, state and social benefits from having LPR status. “
The protocol of consultations with the ‘parliamentarian’ determines two formal attempts to get the go-ahead and include amendments in the ‘reconciliation package’.
Democratic sources consulted by Univision Noticias said that “Plan A” was formally delivered, while “Plan B” was sent informally.
This time, the sources explained, they will exhaust the instances by formal means. They trust that this time they will get the green light from MacDonough’s office as it is a deportation protection and not a path to legal permanent residence.
House Democratic sources said that if MacDonough rejects “Plan C,” the Senate caucus could move forward without considering the “parliamentarian’s” opinion.
The Social Spending Budget Bill already approved by the House of Representatives “includes a series of important immigration provisions, including up to 10 years of work authorization and protection against deportation for undocumented people living in the United States.” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor at Cornell University School of Law, New York.
“The bill would also give the Department of Homeland Security $ 2.8 billion to help process immigration applications and reduce backlogs in case processing (…) and would recover employment and residence-based green cards. family that have not been used and that, otherwise, would expire at the end of each year, “he added.
In case MacDonough authorizes the ‘Plan C’ and the Senate approves the ‘reconciliation package’, some 10 million undocumented people would receive a temporary protection of deportation instead of the coveted ‘Green Card’ or Green card offered by Biden during his campaign.