Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough recently ruled – twice – against Democratic attempts to implement the largest amnesty in American history using the reconciliation process, correctly noting that the impact of amnestying millions of illegal aliens far outweighs budgetary concerns. Meanwhile, two Democratic senators – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – have been critical of the extremely high price tag of Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” spending package, in which the Democrats attempted to include mass amnesty. However, the ever-persistent pro-amnesty lobby is not taking “no” for an answer.
Left-wing pro-illegal-alien activists have been harassing the two senators, with kayakers (including CASA activists) protesting outside of Manchin’s houseboat, and pro-amnesty agitators harassing Sinema on a plane and even following her into the restroom at Arizona State University, where she teaches courses on social work. And President Biden downplayed and trivialized the tactics as not “appropriate,” but something that “happens to everybody.” If the activists’ goal was to demonstrate extreme entitlement and a complete lack of basic manners or courtesy, then their mission is undoubtedly accomplished.
Pro-amnesty, leftist academics meanwhile penned a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris and the Democratic leadership demanding that they override the Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling and ram through amnesty anyway. As The Hill puts it, “[t]he 92 scholars called on Harris, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) not to ‘overrule’ Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, whose rulings are non-binding, but for the presiding officer of the Senate to issue a ruling contrary to her advice.”
The Hill gets to the crux of the matter, observing that “many immigration advocates believe the current political climate grants a unique opportunity for reform on the issue, which might not repeat itself in years.” In other words, the amnesty lobby is desperate and feels it is running out of time. As such, it wants to pull a fast one on the American people and sneak through legislation that would add millions of foreign nationals who came to the U.S. illegally to the citizen body, voting rolls, and legal workforce – all during a major pandemic and border crisis – without the necessary and honest national debate that the issue most certainly deserves.
The letter by the 92 left-wing academics argues that “the outlay and revenue effects of extending LPR status to 8 million people are sweeping” and that there is “no basis in law or precedent for concluding that these outlay-related effects are ‘merely incidental’ to LPR status.” The letter argues that amnesty would result in higher tax revenues, but admits that the amnestied population would also become eligible for a broad array of benefits and services (in fact, most of the fiscal impact bullet points in the letter are about what amnesty beneficiaries would become eligible for). Thus, the economic impact is not an argument for amnesty – as the signatories of the letter would have it – but rather an argument against amnesty.
In 2016, the Heritage Foundation estimated that amnesty (for 10 million illegal aliens, slightly higher than the 8 million figure) would either necessitate a $1.29 trillion immediate tax increase, or would cost $3.6 trillion if spread out over 75 years. The numbers might be slightly smaller for the reconciliation amnesty for 8 million illegal aliens, but we are undoubtedly still talking about hundreds of billions if not trillions.
No matter how obnoxious or aggressive the temper tantrum, amnesty remains a horrible and harmful idea. And the amnesty lobby’s fanatical stubbornness on this issue shows that the fight against amnesty is far from over, and that Americans should resist the temptation to become complacent.