Apparent Failure of Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill 

Minneapolis’ StarTribune published an editorial criticizing the apparent failure of Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill. A similar editorial appeared in Bloomberg News. The bill also was supported by columnist George Will.[1]

The Bipartisan Bill

The bill was developed by U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (ex-Democrat & now Independent, AZ) and Thom Tillis (Rep., NC) “that would have addressed critical areas in immigration: the fate of so-called Dreamers, billions of dollars to secure the southern border, and better processing of asylum claims.” The “border-related items in the . . . bill were said to include more and better-paid Border Patrol agents, more funds for Homeland Security detention facilities and stiffer penalties for migrants who missed court hearings, along with better and faster processing of credible asylum claims.”

Reasons for Apparent Failure To Adopt This Bill

According to the StarTribune editorial, this bill “drew support from moderate lawmakers and several organizations.” But the two Senators were “unable to lock down the 60-vote supermajority needed to end the inevitable filibuster,” which prevented the inclusion of the bill in year-end appropriations legislation, all but ending any hope of immigration reform this year.”

The Bloomberg editorial notes that the proposal “aims to reduce strain on the asylum system by discouraging migrants from attempting to cross the border and expelling more of those who do.” For George Will, the bill would correct “two glaring wrongs that large American majorities recognize as such. They are the insecure southern border. And the decades-long callousness toward those called ‘dreamers.’”

This proposal “has angered immigration advocates and progressives in Congress, some of whom have already announced their opposition.” For George Will, these people ignore “the axiom that the perfect is the enemy of the good, [and who] will settle for nothing less than a ‘comprehensive’ solution to all immigration complexities.” Mr. Will also finds fault with criticism of the bill’s provisions to protect the “Dreamers” and the apparent proposed path to citizenship for the U.S.’ approximate 11 million unauthorized immigrants, two-thirds of whom have lived here for more than a decade.

There apparently was nothing in the Sinema-Tillis proposal relating to what is covered in the proposed Afghan Adjustment Act that was discussed in a prior post.[2]

Conclusion

An open invitation for comments is extended to those who are more intimately involved in this legislative conundrum.

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[1] Editorial, Another failure on immigration reform, StarTribune (Dec. 17, 2022); Bloomberg, Editorial, Congress Can’t Waste This Immigration Opportunity, Wash. Post (Dec. 15, 2022); Will, How the Tillis-Sinema immigration bill would right two glaring wrongs, Wash. Post (Dec. 11, 2022); Sotomayor, Goodwin, Sacchetti & DeChaulus, Congress working to strike last-minute immigration deals, Wash. Post (Dec. 5, 2022).

[2] See Wall Street Journal Editorial Supports Afghan Evacuees, dwkcommentaries.com (Dec.13, 2022); Need To Prod Congress To Enact the Afghan Adjustment Act, dwkcommentareis.com (Dec. 17, 2022).

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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