WASHINGTON D.C. – If they have their way, the next federal stimulus bill that is approved by the United States Congress and signed by President Joe Biden will shortly thereafter become a vehicle to manipulate legislative procedure and provide amnesty to more than 5 million people who are living in the United States illegally.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus released a letter Saturday signed by 100 members of Congress urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to utilize the legislative reconciliation process intended to smooth out the slight differences between House & Senate spending packages in a $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill, to provide amnesty to an estimated 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally. Among those, the letter says, are 202,500 DACA recipients and 131,300 TPS holders.
Among those signing the letter are Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz; Rep. James McGovern; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee; Rep. Ilhan Omar; Rep. Rashida Tlaib; Rep. Ro Khanna; Rep. Joaquin Castro; Rep. Pramila Jayapal; Rep. Zoe Lofgren; Rep. Ayanna Pressley; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Rep. Cori Bush and Rep. Barbara Lee.
Among other claims the authors of the letter make are that providing a so-called path to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants currently estimated in the U.S. would increase the cumulative income of Americans by $791 billion and create more than 203,000 new jobs per year.
Another interesting claim made by the group is that providing amnesty would “increase the wage floor”, an argument which, taken in the inverse is an admission that illegal immigrants flowing into the United States depresses wages for American workers – that is an argument often made by those opposed to open borders.
Neither of Maine’s House members, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree or Congressman Jared Golden, are signatories of the letter, but Rep. Pingree has leveled withering criticism at President Donald Trump’s immigration policies during his time in office. On January 20th, Pingree tweeted a graphic celebrating how President Joe Biden had begun to undo Trump’s immigration policies.
Among other statements Pingree made, she said Biden had set the stage for a more “optimistic era” by stopping “construction of Trump’s racist border wall” and ending Trump’s “cruel” immigration enforcement policies, as well as counting illegal immigrants in the US Census, which is used to determine how many seats in the U.S. House a state gets.
Rep. Jared Golden has not been so publicly strident in his support of Biden’s efforts on social media or in statements, but has long been a supporter of the goal of the letter, including signing on with Pingree in 2019 to a bill that would have provided a so-called path to citizenship for up to 2.5 million people in the United States illegally.
For his part, Golden has publicly stated that he thinks the stimulus vehicle the Hispanic Caucus is hoping to use to create this new wave of amnesty for illegal immigrants is “off the mark” and that lawmakers should work together in a bipartisan manner to pass a bill that wouldn’t require the reconciliation process to be used.
Whether intended to shut down the end-around for amnesty or not, a bipartisan package that does not require reconciliation would slam the door on the stimulus bill being used to provide amnesty as the Hispanic Caucus desires.