Senator Manchin Should Note GOP Immigration Resolution

The West Virginia Republican Party recently enacted a resolution against illegal immigration, including many of the open-borders policies initiated by the Biden administration. These policies resulted in more than 1.7 million illegal aliens who were “encountered” crossing the southern border illegally in FY 2021, and countless more who entered without being detected.  The resolution’s aim is to demand that the administration secure our borders, shore up the rule of law, and strengthen national security so that America can remain “a beacon of hope for millions across the globe in search of liberty.”

The resolution proposes commonsense measures needed to get the border under control, including  completion of the border wall,  preventing human trafficking and drug smuggling, elimination of sanctuary policies, and stopping asylum fraud. It also calls for a merit-based legal immigration policy.

As he considers his vote on the upcoming $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation bill, which potentially includes mass amnesty for millions, Senator Joe Manchin, who is the only Democrat holding statewide office in West Virginia, should heed the resolution’s policy recommendations.

The budget reconciliation bill has been branded as a “human infrastructure bill” by the Biden administration and many media outlets because it contains a progressive wish-list of health care programs, a Medicaid expansion, family medical leave, climate change programs. Senate Democrats are also seeking to include a mass amnesty in the bill. Unlike most legislation requiring 60 votes in the Senate in order to reach the floor for a final vote, the budget reconciliation bill needs only 50 votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. 

Thus far, Manchin’s objections to the reconciliation bill have focused on lowering the initially-proposed cost of $3.5 trillion, along with some cuts to Medicaid expansion.  According to The Hill, Manchin supported the 2013 Senate-passed Gang of Eight amnesty bill claiming it was “a great bill” and he is supportive of including some amnesty provisions in this year’s budget reconciliation.

Including amnesty provisions in the Senate budget reconciliation is not assured. The Senate Parliamentarian has already ruled against two previous attempts to include an illegal alien amnesty in the bill stating that the  claimed budgetary benefits are merely incidental. (In reality, the long-term impact would be significantly harmful.) Rather, she noted that supporters of the amendments were attempting to enact sweeping immigration policy changes. 

Manchin should also note a June Zogby poll, commissioned by FAIR, which shows that West Virginia voters oppose using the budget reconciliation process to give illegal aliens amnesty by a 52 percent to 24 percent margin. The poll also showed an eye-popping 55 percent would be less inclined to support Senator Manchin if he votes for a mass amnesty in a reconciliation bill.

The amnesty provisions are politically unpopular in West Virginia. However, that is not the only reason Senator Manchin should oppose their inclusion in “human infrastructure bill.” He should oppose them because it is the right thing to do for the Mountain State and the country.  The amnesty of 1986 undermined our immigration laws and acted as a magnet to millions more, encouraging them to illegally cross with the hope of future amnesties.  West Virginia voters and the American public clearly understand that amnesty is not infrastructure.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.