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WASHINGTON – US Senate Democrats proposed this Friday regularize 8 million undocumented immigrants, including those who came to the country as children and who are known as “dreamers”, a Democratic source told EFE.
The Democrats made that proposal during the meeting they held this Friday with the Republicans with the Senate “parliamentarian”, Elizabeth MacDonough, in charge of interpreting the rules of the legislative process.
That meeting was similar to a “trial” in which Democrats and Republicans presented their arguments to MacDonough, who must issue a kind of “ruling”, something that is not imminent and will not occur at least until next week, according to the aforementioned source.
Democrats called for the regularization of four groups that add up to 8 million migrants: the “dreamers”, farm workers, essential workers (such as medical personnel) and migrants who have accessed an immigration protection called Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
In addition, the Democrats defended that all the requirements are met to approve migratory changes alone through a process known as “reconciliation” and that allows a budget law to be carried out in the Senate with a simple majority of 50 votes, instead of the 60 normally required.
Democrats want to use the “reconciliation” mechanism because they do not have 60 supporters: they hold a narrow majority of 50 seats, although they could reach 51 with the backing of Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as Speaker of the Upper House.
However, they do not have any support from GOP senators, who for decades have opposed passing immigration reform.
A hit of 139, million dollars
In order for MacDonough to stand in their favor, Democrats had to prove that immigration changes will have an impact on the federal budget and that that impact will be substantial and not “meramente incidental”, as defined in the so-called Byrd Rule, named after the late Senator Robert Byrd, who was in charge of establishing the rules of the process.
To prove that point, the Democrats assured that regularizing 8 million people will have a cost for the coffers of the State of $ 139 billion, for a period of 10 years, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the aforementioned source explained to Efe.
Specifically, the regularization of these migrants would have a cost because they could automatically access social programs, such as food assistance vouchers.
Ironically, Democrats are using the argument Republicans have used for years to oppose immigration reform: that regularizing migrants will cost the state. They need to test that idea in order to approve the changes through the “reconciliation”.
Big benefits for the US economy
However, in the last hours, a group of 50 economists argued that migratory changes would also bring great economic benefits to the United States, such as an increase in the level of wages, the creation of jobs and the exit from poverty. of many families.
The group of economists presented those arguments in a letter they sent to the Democratic leadership of Congress. to request the regularization of migrants.
The signatories include economics professors from leading U.S. universities, as well as Jason Furman, who was the chief economic advisor to Barack Obama (2009-2017).
In a statement sent to EFE, the president of the FWD.us organization, Todd Schulte, recalled that millions of immigrants have helped the US during the COVID-19 pandemic, for which he urged Congress and the US president, Joe Biden, protect those families now.
In that sense, Claudia Flores, from Center for American Progress (CAP), considered that opening a path to citizenship is “what is morally and socially correct.”
It has been 35 years since Congress passed a law with a path to citizenship for a large group of migrants.
The last time was in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a law that allowed the regularization of 3 million undocumented immigrants.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.