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Cancellation of Title 42 leaves almost no options for immigration reform in the Senate | Univision Immigration News

This is because, for there to be a path to regularization for millions of undocumented immigrants, There must first be an agreement to approve President Biden’s social spending plan among 50 Democrats. And for that to happen, the government must keep Title 42 in force at the bordera requirement supported five Democratic senators and the Republican minority.

Title 42 is a public health rule that prevents the processing of migrants at the southern border due to the pandemic, so they are returned to Mexico.

After the three failures registered between September and December, after the main lawyer of the Senate (parliamentary), Elizabeth MacDonough, reject plans to include the legalization of some 6.5 million undocumented immigrants in the social spending package, the Democratic leadership kept an ace up its sleeve to use in the last two weeks of this month.

MacDonough argues that the legalization plan proposed by the Democrats “it would increase the fiscal deficit by $131,000 million over the next 10 years” if the desired reform is approved.

At the middle of March Univision News reported that, after the legislative recess for Easter, the leadership would call for a vote to approve President Joe Biden’s spending plan “with the amendment” on immigration.

At the time, the office of Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) confirmed the plans and said that “We hope to include the topic of the path to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, farmworkers, and essential workers,” similar to what the House of Representatives approved on March 18, 2021.

To get to a vote, Democrats must ensure that all 50 caucus members agree, including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has repeatedly said that does not support the White House social spending bill.

Without an agreement on this initiative there is no room for an immigration amendment as part of a reconciliation package. The 50 Democratic votes are needed plus that of Vice President Kamala Harriswho breaks the tiebreaker.

anticipation of good wishes

Last week The Hill site reported that two senators, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, were preparing to begin calling meetings with the aim of restarting immigration reform efforts interrupted in December after MacDonough’s third rejection.

Meetings are scheduled for next week. but first they would be done at the stakeholder level in debating the issue, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) said. But unlike last year’s debates, when an Amendment was attempted to be added to the social spending package, this time there is talk of 60 votes. Namely, a full bill like the House did last year.

However, despite the optimism of Durbin and Tillis, the possibility of approving an immigration reform in this way in a year of mid-term elections seems increasingly distant. The Republican leadership reiterates that it will not approve any type of immigration benefit as long as the government does not put an end to the crisis on the border with Mexico.

And the opposition has renewed its strategy of attacking Biden’s immigration policy after the announcement of the elimination of Title 42 of the United States Code, activated in 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and that in the last 25 months has allowed the expedited deportation of some 2 million undocumented people on the border with Mexico.

Former President Donald Trump accused Biden of “open the floodgates to an immigration tidal wave” abandoning Title 42 and called on Republicans to fire DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas if they regain control of Congress.

In early April, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced the withdrawal of Title 42 after a review of the measures implemented in March 2020 to control the spread of covid-19. Shortly after, the DHS said it will withdraw the measure from May 23.

The suspension of the controversial policy will reactivate the due immigration process at the borderallowing foreigners to request asylum and have their cases processed as ordered by Congress.

Simultaneously, the government announced measures to mitigate the avalanche ( DHS estimates to process between 6,000 and 18,000 asylum cases daily) including granting extra powers to immigration prosecutors and asylum agents to decongest the Immigration Court that has more than 1.7 million files accumulated.

At the same time, he warned that he will continue to deport in an accelerated manner under the Title 8 of the Immigration Act (INA) immigrants who do not qualify for asylum, and announced the expansion and construction of new immigration detention centers.

Despite the changes and announcements, the Republicans do not give in and keep up the attack on the removal of Title 42. Among the charges is a lawsuit brought by the states of Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri asking a court to stop the elimination of the questioned policy and avoid the massive entry of foreigners and the country is “engulfed in chaos.”

The plaintiffs cite views from Democratic lawmakers who express doubts about the government’s responsiveness to prosecute the spate of cases expected after May 23, when Title 42 is withdrawn.

With this scenario, the possibility of talks or an immigration debate in the Senate right now “it’s almost impossible”acknowledge Democratic sources consulted by Univision News and who asked to speak on condition of anonymity.

One option is currently focused on the debate on an aid package “with low expectations” related to supplementary assistance to combat covid-19 (vaccinations and tests), but subject to maintaining the validity of Title 42.

Another source warns that Republicans are using the permanence of Title 42 as a condition for approving relief funds and move forward in the debate on the social spending plan.

“In other words, if this demand is not accepted, to reverse the decision to remove Title 42, there will be no social spending law and, therefore, neither Immigration Amendment within the budget reconciliation package”he indicated.

A third source said the Republican push is supported by at least five Democratic senators (Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hasan, Montana’s Jon Tester, and Mark Kelly). , from Arizona). “That means we don’t have the necessary 50 votes, for now, to secure a favorable vote for the social spending plan,” he said.

The sources also agree that the border was “positioned” as a “public health” issue and that is why Title 42 should not be eliminated.

“We are extremely concerned that the government has ended Title 42 in the way it did,” the office of Senator Bob Menéndez (D-New Jersey) told Univision News. “The White House should have come up with a proper decommissioning plan that leaves no room for this inhumane policy to spread,” he noted.

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