Anyone who follows politics is accustomed to the overuse of the word “reform.” It is almost always depicted as a highly desirable goal that will sweep away bad precedents and usher in a new era of smarter government policy.
Reform is often a good and necessary thing. But there are few words left more open to interpretation. Reform, depending on who is suggesting the change, can mean entirely different things even when applied to the same issue. This is especially true when it comes to immigration.
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough rejected another Democratic effort to include immigration reform in President Joe Biden’s spending bill.
MacDonough’s ruling, which came late Thursday, is Democrats’ latest setback in their bid to overhaul the nation’s immigration system via the reconciliation bill. She rejected two bids earlier this year to include a pathway to citizenship in the package, ruling that the provisions did not meet the criteria to be included in the filibuster-proof legislation.
Several immigration provisions tucked inside the Democrats’ spending bill are set to greatly expand the number of legal, high-skilled immigrants admitted to the U.S., handing large tech companies a major victory.
The provisions, included in the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, propose a number of changes to the immigration system intended to help relieve the green card backlog and admit more immigrants. The bill proposes “recapturing” green cards that were authorized but never actually issued due to administrative complications, as well as exempting visa applicants from numerical and country limits if the applicants pay a fee.
In an interview with former aide Sarah Isgur and Steve Hayes of The Dispatch to promote his new book that features portraits of immigrants, former President George W. Bush called for ‘immigration reform’ that keeps ‘Dreamers’ in the US and provides a path to citizenship for illegal aliens currently in the U.S., criticized Republicans who support ‘laws based on Anglo-Saxon traditions,’ and claimed ‘White Anglo Saxon Protestantism’ is exclusionary.