Pelosi: Biden Immigration Plan Could Be Done ‘Piecemeal’
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 18: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on February 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Speaker took questions on the creation of a commission to investigate the January 6 attack, vaccination of teachers, immigration legislation. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that President Biden’s immigration plan might be split into separate pieces of legislation in order to make it through Congress.

The Daily Wire reported about the details of the bill on Thursday:

The [immigration] bill includes a proposed reduction of a 13-year pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens to just eight years. The bill also removes the legal term “alien” from U.S. immigration laws and replaces it with “noncitizen,” part of a larger move to minimize the crime of unlawfully entering the United States.

The bill also sends billions of American taxpayer dollars to Latin America in what Biden claims is an effort to address the root causes of illegal immigration to the U.S. Critics often point to America’s lax immigration laws and economic/welfare incentives, known as “magnets,” as a major contributing factor in what draws massive waves of migrants to the U.S. border.

“I salute the president for putting forth the legislation that he did. There are others who want to do piecemeal, and that may be a good approach, too. That’s up to the Congress to decide,” Pelosi said at her press conference Thursday.

The speaker also said that Democrats could try to pass the bill through the budget resolution process, which would allow them to avoid the 60-vote requirement in the Senate. Instead, it could get through with a simple majority — 51 votes. However, she questioned whether the legislation would be eligible for that process, according to The Hill.

“There are people who are advocating for that, and the question is, would that meet the Byrd Rule and those other kinds of things. And if it would, that would be wonderful, because then we wouldn’t need the 60 votes,” she said.

According to the House of Representatives’ website, “Under the Byrd rule, the Senate is prohibited from considering extraneous matter as part of a reconciliation bill or resolution or conference report thereon. The definition of what constitutes ‘extraneous matter’ is set forth in the Budget Act; however, the term remains subject to considerable interpretation by the presiding officer (who relies on the Senate Parliamentarian).” The Byrd rule can also be avoided by securing 60 votes to waive it.

According to The New York Times, President Biden and his aides have begun to signal that using different methods to get the legislation through would be acceptable:

In a private phone call with activists on Wednesday, top immigration aides to Mr. Biden said they supported what they called a “multiple trains” strategy, which could target citizenship for “Dreamers,” the young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children; farm workers who have toiled for years in American fields; and others.

Smaller bills could move forward as the president tries to build support for the broader legislation…

Pelosi reportedly praised President Biden’s immigration plan.

“Immigrants coming to our country, with newcomers coming with their new hopes and dreams and aspirations, with their optimism and determination to make the future better for their families, well, those are American traits,” she said. “And when they come here with those values, they make America more American.”

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