A dozen Republican senators have demanded the immediate release of a Biden administration blueprint for expanding and overhauling the immigration system, according to a draft document obtained by selected media but not yet disclosed to Congress or the general public.
In a joint letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (pdf), the senators demand the release of a 46-page draft called the “DHS Plan to Restore Trust in Our Legal Immigration System,” which was first reported by The New York Times and which reportedly maps out the Biden administration’s plans for significant expansion of the immigration system.
According to The New York Times, the blueprint “lists scores of initiatives intended to reopen the country to more immigrants,” while not just rolling back some Trump-era policies but also “addressing backlogs and delays that plagued prior presidents.” Most of the document’s policy proposals could not be implemented by executive authority, but would require a broader overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, according to the report.
In the letter, the GOP lawmakers allege that the blueprint “is being withheld from Congress and the American people,” which they find “particularly troubling given the ongoing crisis at the southern border.”
Since Biden took office, there has been a historic surge in illegal immigration, a situation Republicans have characterized as a “crisis” fueled by the the president’s policies. Biden administration officials have disputed that characterization, including Mayorkas, who in recent Senate testimony insisted on using the term “challenge” to describe the problem while insisting that the administration has a strategy to cope with it.
But the senators expressed concern that some of the policies the blueprint reportedly contains would serve to exacerbate the problem by accelerating the flow of illegal immigration into the United States.
“We are deeply concerned that these policies will act as a pull factor to continue drawing illegal immigrants to the country—much like the policies already being implemented by the Biden Administration,” they wrote.
BY TOM OZIMEK
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