Millions of illegal immigrants could have access to amnesty, assistance with college tuition, various tax credits and waived grounds for inadmissibility to the U.S. under the Democrats’ proposed reconciliation bill.
The reconciliation bill might allow illegal immigrants with expunged criminal offenses to enter the U.S. and give millions of others illegally living in the U.S. a chance at parole.
“It is outrageous that congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are trying to ram through a massive amnesty and significant increases of legal immigration during this historic and worsening border crisis,” Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies Robert Law told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.
“While the American people are demanding that the Biden administration secure the southern border, they are instead doubling down on unpopular policies like amnesty and cash payments in the form of tax credits to illegal aliens paid for by American taxpayers,” Law added. “If successful, this will only further fuel the next wave of illegal immigration.”
Federal Student Aid Eligibility and Tax Credits
Benefits including tuition and fees associated with receiving an education may also be available to illegal immigrants regardless of their immigration status or citizenship, according to the reconciliation bill. Such benefits include financial support from the state for full-time students at four-year colleges.
“[The] bottom line is people who aren’t supposed to be here shouldn’t receive taxpayer benefits. That diverts money from US citizens and lawful permanent residents to illegal aliens,” Heritage Foundation Technology Policy Center Director Lora Ries told the DCNF. “The Biden Admin really wants to tell a poor U.S. citizen 18-year old, ‘Sorry you can’t go to college because you can’t afford it. We gave your student aid to an illegal alien?’”
Illegal immigrants also may not have to provide a Social Security number to access tax benefits, according to the reconciliation bill.
The Democrats’ budget bill included around $8 billion per year for illegal immigrant parents with U.S.-born children for up to 10 years of age, the DCNF reported. This sum of aid would support parents working “off the books” who can’t verify their employment with the federal government in order to apply for aid.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued interim guidance halting workplace Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids targeting illegal immigrant workers to focus instead on prosecuting employers, the DCNF reported.
Lawful Permanent Residency
If the reconciliation bill passes, an immigrant living illegally in the U.S. would be able to obtain lawful permanent residency by paying a processing fee and a “supplemental fee” of $1,500 in addition to completing background checks and a medical examination. For these benefits under the bill, illegal migrants would need to have lived in the U.S. since Jan. 1 or since the age of 18 or younger, serve honorably in the U.S. military, participate in a U.S. education program for at least two years, have a degree from an American university or be actively employed in the country.
An illegal immigrant would also be able to apply for lawful permanent residency under the bill if they have a consistent income in the U.S. as an “essential critical infrastructure worker” during the COVID-19 pandemic, if they’ve lived in the country for at least three years and if they are eligible for Temporary Protected Status.
“Democrats are looking at expanding parole to illegal aliens who have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years,” Ries told the DCNF. “Not only does this violate Congress’ intent and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) terms for humanitarian parole, but illegal aliens with 10 years’ physical presence in the U.S. already have a pre-existing, permanent, form of relief from deportation in the Act – ‘cancellation of removal.’”
“But for open border advocates, there are never enough avenues available for illegal aliens to remain in the U.S,” Ries added. “They always seek to create more avenues by lowering standards, waiving parts of the law, and ignoring the law altogether.”
Temporary legal status could become available to millions of illegal immigrants through the bill, The New York Times reported. The measure is being considered after a push for 11 million illegal immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship failed.
Grounds For Ineligibility
An illegal immigrant would be deemed inadmissible to the U.S. if they were involved in racial or religious persecution, if they were convicted of any state or federal offense other than an immigration infraction or if they are registered under the Military Selective Service Act, according to the reconciliation bill. The DHS may choose to waive any admissibility restrictions for humanitarian purposes, a family unit or “if a waiver is otherwise in the public interest.”
Illegal immigrants with expunged convictions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on how severe the offenses were, according to the bill. The DHS would also allow an illegal immigrant who was ordered removed from the country or who decided to leave an opportunity to apply for relief if they ask for the opportunity.
“As generous as cancellation of removal is for illegal aliens who have flouted the law for at least 10 years, it isn’t enough for open border advocates,” Ries told the DCNF. “They still want an easier path for at least 8 million illegal aliens.”
“Providing 8 million illegal aliens with parole is neither a case-by-case approach, nor for an urgent humanitarian reason, nor a significant public benefit,” Ries added. “The Senate Parliamentarian should reject this ‘Plan C’ by the Democrats, just as she rejected their prior two attempts at mass amnesty in the Budget Reconciliation bill, because of the significant policy implications.”
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