Congressional Democrats are at it again. Undeterred by failing twice to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens in the budget reconciliation package, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) hinted that Senate Democrats will try to use the parole process to give the illegals work permits and shield them from deportation. The proposal will require the approval of Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who previously shot down both amnesty attempts by Democrats.
Make no mistake, the attempt to use parole to shield millions of illegal aliens constitutes as great an amnesty threat as a pathway to citizenship. Parolees are able to work in the United States and access some public benefits – which is why illegal aliens come to the United States in the first place. In fact, this proposal is similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, except that it is moving through the legislative branch. But the parolees would function in a similar manner to DACA recipients. They would be able to work, go to school, and live in the U.S. without the fear of deportation. And, like DACA recipients, this “temporary” parole status would be anything but temporary the longer they reside in the country.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the parole process only apply to aliens on a case-by-case basis, rather than applying it to large swaths of people. Despite that, past administrations have used it to parole both Cubans in the 1960s and some Afghans following our chaotic withdrawal earlier this year. Regardless, using parole authority to shield millions of illegal aliens – not refugees – is a Democratic solution well outside the bounds of the intent of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Senate Parliamentarian will rule on this proposal any day now. If precedent is any indication, she could rule that this is not germane to the budget and therefore unacceptable for inclusion in the budget reconciliation bill. The Senate’s “Byrd rule” stipulates that all policy changes in a budget reconciliation package must have a significant impact upon the national budget, and not an unrelated policy rider unrelated to the finances of the United States.
FAIR will continue reporting on the Democrats’ latest attempt to squeeze amnesty into this package as they try to vote on the massive spending bill before the end of October.