Democrats write letter to Biden: Illegal immigrants are ‘American heroes’ and deserve amnesty

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WASHINGTON, D.C.– In a recent letter to President Joe Biden, a group of 22 Democrats, including Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) asked the White House to add amnesty for at least 5.2 million illegal immigrants in an economic relief and infrastructure package.

In their letter, the Democrats wrote:

“We write to urge you to prioritize the inclusion of H.R. 1909/S. 747, the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, which would create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrant essential workers, as part of the American Families Plan and your legislative package on jobs and infrastructure.”

The letter added:

“If Republicans continue to refuse to advance immigration legislation supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people, the next reconciliation package on jobs and infrastructure should include citizenship for essential workers.”

They continued by saying:

“Speaker Pelosi has already indicated her support for including immigration legislation in legislative packages advanced through budget reconciliation given the clear ‘case about the budget implications if immigration,’ while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and 100 members of the Democratic Caucus have also urged the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship for essential workers in COVID-19 relief legislation.

The upcoming legislative package on jobs and infrastructure is the best opportunity to recognize and reward the sacrifices and labor of essential workers.”

Castro’s amnesty plan would all illegal immigrants to take American jobs in at least 20 different occupations to adjust status to become legal permanent residents, thus securing a green card to remain in the United States.

After that, those eligible illegal immigrants would then be able to apply for American citizenship after five years of living in the U.S. on a green card. Biden, himself, has also proposed an amnesty plan.

However, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) quickly admitted that that proposal does not have support.

Biden’s amnesty plan would bring a foreign population to the U.S. close to the size of California by 2031, permanently resettling more than 37.3 million foreign nationals in the nation.

Recently, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President Neil Bradley called amnesty for illegal immigrants “critically important. Corporate interests and donors have reportedly led lobbying initiatives to pressure Washington, D.C. lawmakers to back amnesty. 

Economist George Borjas called mass immigration the “largest anti-poverty program” at the expense of Americans working and lower-middle class. The biggest winners are corporations and investors who can keep the cost of labor low and have a steady stream of consumers to buy their products and services.

Other research has found that current legal immigration to the U.S. results in more than $350 billion worth of lost wages for Americans. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also noted that mass immigration cuts Americans’ wages.

Back in 2013, a CBO analysis stated that the “Gang of Eight” amnesty plan would “slightly” push down wages for the American workers. A 2020 CBO analysis stated:

“Immigration has exerted downward pressure on the wages of relatively low-skilled workers who are already in the country, regardless of their birthplace.”

It is also reported that every year, about 1.2 million legal immigrants receive green cards to permanently resettle in the U.S. In addition, 1.4 million foreign nationals get temporary visas to fill U.S. jobs that would otherwise go to Americans. 

The Democrats amnesty plan would apply to illegal immigrants working in a broad array of sectors, including health care, emergency response, sanitation, restaurant ownership, food preparation, vending, catering, food packaging, meat processing, hotel or retail work, agricultural work, landscaping, construction, nanny services, and house cleaning and janitorial services as well as those operating laundromats. 

It would also apply to those who work in those industries but lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic and illegal immigrant relatives of those who died of COVID-19. The plan includes an immediate adjustment to a green card, followed by a path to full citizenship, which would include the right to vote. 

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Five Democrats who previously voted against amnesty for illegal immigrant gang members change their minds

March 19th, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Five Democrats who had previously voted to deny illegal immigrant gang members from receiving amnesty reversed course and instead voted to block a motion that was intended to ensure it would not be granted to criminals.

In 2019, Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Jared Golden (D-ME), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Josh Harder (D-CA) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) voted in favor of a Republican motion to ensure that illegal immigrant gang members would not receive amnesty under the American Dream and Promise Act, which was brought up by the Democrats, according to a report by Breitbart.

On Thursday, the same five Democrats voted against a motion offered by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) to ensure that illegal immigrant gang members would not be eligible for amnesty through the H.R. 6 American Dream and Promise Act bill.

Stauber, a former Duluth, Minnesota, police officer, offered a motion to recommit on the H.R. 6 bill, which seeks to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

On the House floor, Stauber said in part:

“I speak to families back home. We understand that there are individuals and children in this country who were brought here through no fault of their own. They’re understanding and compassionate people who want a solution that is fair and just.

“But something that I also hear from these same families is their concern and fear for providing green cards and paths to citizenship to gang members and criminals.

“The text of this bill only compounds those fears, preventing the United States government from using readily available information to remove gang members who are national security threats and other public safety threats.

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“This motion to recommit ensures that those individuals whose applications would be denied on the basis of criminal grounds, national security grounds, public safety risks or as gang members are considered by the Department of Homeland Security for removal from the United States.

“Under H.R. 6, information provided in an application for a green card may not be used for the purposes of immigration enforcement – even if DHS denies the application or it’s withdrawn.

“This means that if an applicant has a murder conviction, a rape conviction, or if the applicant is a gang member, and DHS knows about it because of the application, DHS can’t even refer that person for removal.”

Stauber urged passing of the motion:

“If Democrats see fit to listen to the America people and exclude these criminals and gang members from receiving green cards under H.R.6, then they should vote for this Motion to Recommit to ensure those dangerous individuals are denied a safe haven here in our neighborhoods and communities where our children go to school and play.”

The motion to recommit, if passed, would have mandated that the bill return to the committees of origin so Stauber’s amendment could be added. The bill would then have returned to the floor for a vote again.

However, Stauber’s motion was blocked. There were 216 Democrats who voted against his motion while 203 Republicans voted in favor of it.

Stauber’s amendment was intended to ensure that gang members could not receive amnesty under H.R. 6 and that federal authorities could use state or federal data on their criminal histories to deny amnesty petitions. H.R. 6 does not allow federal authorities to do this.

Stauber’s amendment would have also allowed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport illegal immigrant gang members.

Sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), the  H.R. 6 American Dream and Promise Act bill passed on March 18 by a vote of 228-197.

According to CNN, nine Republicans voted with Democrats in support: Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, David Valadao of California, Fred Upton of Michigan, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Chris Smith of New Jersey and Maria Elvira Salazar, Carlos Gimenez and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida.

In addition to the H.R. 6 bill, the House also voted to pass H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation from Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Newhouse, according to CNN.

The bill would permit farm workers, along with their spouses and children, to earn legal status through continued employment in the agricultural sector. It would also make changes to the H-2A agricultural guest worker program.
 
Before the votes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:
 
“This is a very special day for us. We are making a very big difference in how we respect the beautiful diversity of America, how we respect the fact that immigration is the constant reinvigoration of America.”
 
The next step for these two bills is to go to the Senate, where 60 affirmative votes are needed to pass. Passage of both bills would give Democrats an opportunity to say they are working to advance immigration reforms.
 
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, told CNN earlier this week that he does not believe there is enough support in Congress to pass an immigration bill with a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants:
 
“I don’t see a means for reaching that. I want it. I think we are much more likely to deal with discrete elements.”

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