When President Biden entered the Oval Office on his first day, he had a multitude of reasons to rescind or, at the very least, rein in his immigration-related campaign promises. There was the obvious crisis brewing at the Southwest border, or the struggling economic and employment picture. There was the inability of foreign nations, particularly those in Central America, to get a handle on COVID-19. Both parties were committed to more pandemic spending and our social services already were buckling under pressure. Instead, President Biden sent to Congress a bill to “modernize” the immigration system by granting amnesty to almost 15 million illegal aliens.
Even if there were no pandemic nor unacceptably high unemployment, the U.S. Citizenship Act, which would increase foreign workers and expand legal immigration too, is antithetical to common sense.
As FAIR noted when congressional Democrats put Biden’s vision into legislative text, if passed, it would constitute the largest amnesty in history and reaches well beyond measures proposed in 2006 and 2013. However, FAIR is not alone in believing that any immigration proposal must be fair and responsive to the needs of the American people. “People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally,” said now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a June 2009 speech.
Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was set to brief President Obama about his immigration principles the following day, told attendees at a conference hosted by the Migration Policy Institute that the “American people will never accept immigration reform unless they truly believe that their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration.”
Of seven principles of immigration reform that Schumer laid out, he said the first principle “is that illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.”
“Any immigration solution must recognize that we must do as much as we can to gain operational control of our borders as soon as possible,” added Schumer.
Twelve years later, now-Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Biden and many in the Democratic Party won’t even use the term illegal immigration, much less adopt policies to end it.
With the total number of illegal aliens encountered in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 already surpassing the total number apprehended in three of the four prior fiscal years, Schumer’s remarks are even more relevant today.
In his 2009 speech, Schumer also backed the idea of “a biometric-based employment verification system with tough enforcement and auditing is necessary to significantly diminish the job magnet that attracts illegal aliens to the United States and to provide certainty and simplicity for employers.”
Today, there is no mention of E-verify, efforts to combat visa and employment fraud, or cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens.
Schumer called for “all illegal aliens present in the United States on the date of enactment” to “submit to a rigorous process of converting to legal status and earning the path to citizenship, or face imminent deportation.” Yet nowhere in the U.S. Citizenship Act are any such requirements. In fact, Biden has moved to pause deportations of even some criminal aliens.
Under the Biden-backed amnesty measure introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program would only have to wait three years after the bill’s passage to get their green cards, while illegal aliens would have an eight year wait. For more information on the full bill, the January FAIR Take has a break-down.
Senate Democrats have a steep climb to persuade or arm-twist 10 Republicans into supporting the bill for it to pass, but that does not mean it is not possible. The inaction to address the border crisis and the unserious proposal to fix real and ongoing problems with the immigration system shows demonstrates his disconnect from reality and disdain for the American people.
Not only did members of the Biden administration not act in the first 100 days to address the border crisis, none of them would even use the word “crisis.” Read more tomorrow about why language matters.
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