Emboldened by its better-than-expected midterm election performance, the Democratic Party enters the Lame Duck session with an aggressive platform that includes one of its favorite goals: amnesty. Democrats will control the Upper House in the 118th Congress, but the GOP by the narrowest margin — a handful of seats — will have the advantage in the House.
The strong showing by Democrats inspired President Biden to state unequivocally that he plans to do “nothing” differently in the two years remaining in his first term. Biden interprets the election results as an endorsement of his policies, particularly on the border and in his quest to legalize as many illegal aliens as possible.
The status quo, especially with respect to law enforcement, is exactly what is happening. Just days after Biden’s engagement, Border Patrol reported that officers had at least 230,678 known encounters in October, excluding nearly a million known getaways, down from 159,113 last October and 69,032 as of October 2020. The October 2022 total, drawn by Cubans and Nicaraguans, is the highest in Department of Homeland Security history.
Immediately after the Thanksgiving break, all eyes will be on the Lame Duck session that will allow Biden to finalize his legislative goal. And Republicans might be willing to lend a hand, a possibility bolstered by the re-election of amnesty-friendly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Although the amnesty goes against the wishes of most Americans, Congress rejects voter concerns and moves on.
Common sense dictates that illegal aliens already present should not be granted amnesty until, at a minimum, DHS seals the border against the new wave of illegal aliens that includes thousands of unaccompanied minors. But with a view to a possible re-election bid in 2024, the president’s advisers are working together on a possible slogan, “Promises Kept”. Since immigration does not fall into the “retained” category, at least according to the White House, Biden advisers see the need to move forward with amnesty.
Earlier this year, the House laid the groundwork for amnesty by passing the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, an amnesty for approximately 2.1 million illegally present farm workers. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA – and agricultural workers are the two main amnesty priorities. Democrats have already drafted a game plan to send DACA legislation to the Senate that would amnesty more than 4 million illegal immigrants before their House majority expires. A sidebar: Legislation granting amnesty to deferred action recipients has, since 2001, when it was first introduced, consistently failed to win majorities in Congress.
Right behind the priority of legalizing deferred action are farmworkers who would be tied, if amnesty passes, to years of farm employment – indentured servitude – with the carrot being eventual citizenship. Despite the title of the bill suggesting modernization, no such functionality is included. Modernization means the use of artificial intelligence, the scourge of donors who support the agricultural industry’s continued reliance on cheap, lean labour.
DACA and the Farm Bill require ten years in the Senate, which the House is unlikely to get. Without the necessary ten votes from the upper house, amnesty supporters could tie either or both DACA and the Farm Bill to inescapable omnibus legislation – the landmine that the restrictionists of the immigration fear the most.
Nothing stops the amnesty lobby – not 9/11, not the mortgage crisis, not the sluggish job markets. When amnesty supporters have friends in high places such as the White House, the Senate and the House, the pressure to pass amnesty is, as the days before the lame duck of 2022, intense. Amnesty recipients get valid work permits for life, a coveted affirmative benefit that expands the job market and hampers blue-collar Americans, including blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, the constituency including Congress deceptively claims to care.
Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. Joe joined Progressives for Immigration Reform in 2018 as an analyst after a 10-year career leading media relations for Californians for Population Stabilization, where he was also a senior editorial researcher. Originally from California, Joe now lives in Pennsylvania.