The Biden administration made a show of proposing sweeping legislation that would legalize virtually all illegal aliens and enact a variety of measures to weaken immigration enforcement and increase legal immigration beyond the current level of about 1 million a year. This was no vague statement of principles—congressional staff received a fifty-nine-page, section-by-section summary of the bill.
In the midst of a devastating pandemic, a wrenching economic slowdown, and political instability, the White House signaled that its top priority is amnesty for illegal aliens.
But the bill has yet to be actually introduced in Congress. And it may never be.
That’s because, with an almost evenly divided Congress, it has no chance of passage. The bill was proposed on the president’s first day in office to satisfy a campaign pledge and as a gesture of solidarity with the party’s most radical anti-borders activists.
This is not to say there will be no congressional push for the tripartite immigration goals of the left (and its corporate and libertarian fellow-travelers): amnesty, hobbled enforcement, and more immigration. But the administration, congressional Democrats, and activists confessed to Politico recently that a series of smaller measures is more likely.
Or perhaps that should be “smaller”—because the downsized amnesties Democrats are likely to actually push are not small. They would give legal status to three, four, or even five million illegal aliens, more than were amnestied by the infamous 1986 law that was supposed to be a one-time measure. The Democrats’ priority-one illegals, as it were, include:
1. Adults who came as minors—the so-called Dreamers, including that subset who received DACA, the Obama administration’s amnesty-lite program to provide work permits and Social Security numbers, but not a path to citizenship;
2. Recipients of various “temporary,” but repeatedly renewed, statuses (TPS and DED), granted to people already here illegally when some sort of natural or man-made disaster strikes their home countries. Like the DACA recipients, these people have the meat and potatoes of amnesty—work permits and Social Security numbers—but only through statute can they get the dessert of a green card and eventual citizenship;
3. So-called “essential workers” such as farm workers.