Dutifully avoiding addressing issues at the United States’ southern border, House Democrats passed a massive immigration reform bill Tuesday, granting amnesty to approximately 2.5 million illegal aliens currently residing inside the United States.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Democrats easily passed the American Dream and Promise Act along partisan lines, despite concerns that the bill did not contain any provision to improve or expand detention facilities along the United States’ border with Mexico, nor any funding designed to address what officials from a number of agencies are calling a “border crisis.”
Instead, the bill grants the opportunity to obtain green cards to illegal immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or, DACA) act — about 600,000 individuals — as well as others who entered the United States illegally as minors, a group that adds up to around 2.1 million people. In addition, the bill grants “conditional permanent residency” to around 400,000 temporary workers and illegal aliens facing “deferred enforcement” or deportation.
Like most bills passed, of late, along party lines in the House, the Democrats’ plan to handle the immigration crisis isn’t likely to pass the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t seem interested in even bringing it to the floor for consideration. But the bill does demonstrate, as the White House said in a statement late Tuesday, that Democrats have little interest in handling actual issues related to the southern border.
“H.R. 6 would incentivize and reward illegal immigration while ignoring and undermining key administration immigration objectives and policy priorities, such as protecting our communities and defending our borders,” the White House said in a statement. “The administration has put forward proposals to address the status of the hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients, but only in the context of actual solutions that would address the underlying problems in our immigration system.”
Indeed, the White House did propose a series of immigration reform “starters” just weeks ago, noting, ahead of any conversation on the issue, that the Trump Administration would be willing to find ways to “legalize” DACA recipients and other temporary workers, provided that Democrats agreed to extend funding to the Customs and Border Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security specifically to address current issues with interdiction and detention.
Democrats also rejected, out of hand, two amendments to the bill which might have gained White House approval: one amendment that would have directed additional funding to border patrol efforts to house and care for the thousands of illegal immigrants showing up at the southern border declaring a need for amnesty, and a separate, $4.5 billion appropriation for “crisis relief and border security funding.”
The White House has been adamant that, even if Democrats don’t support decreasing the flow of migrants across the southern border, and are, in fact, happy that Central Americans are declaring for asylum at official border checkpoints, they have a responsibility to help officials processing those claims and caring for those migrants receive the resources they need. So far, Democrats seem uninterested.