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OPINION

Dems Roll Out 'Plan C' to Cram Illegal Alien Amnesty Into the Budget Reconciliation Bill

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

This summer, the Biden administration had a plan for withdrawing from Afghanistan: Pull all of our troops out by a date certain and trust that the Taliban would play nice and all would go smoothly. Apparently, they never really had a Plan B. We know how that turned out.

The president’s allies in Congress seemingly drew a lesson from that debacle and appear determined not to get caught short when it comes to what seems like the Democrats’ single greatest political priority: gaining amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. After seeing Plans A and B dashed by Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, congressional Democrats are poised to invoke Plan C.

All of these plans involve (ab)using the budget reconciliation measure – the $3.5 trillion (or whatever figure Joe Manchin D-W.Va., has managed to bargain it down to) Build Back Better bill, designed to “transform” America into a country most Americans won’t recognize and don’t want. The allure of the budget reconciliation process is that it allows for an end-run around normal Senate rules that require 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor for final passage – something Senate Democrats are at least 10 votes away from having. Assuming that Senators Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., can be harassed into supporting it, the budget reconciliation process would allow Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking 51st vote to legalize upwards of 8 million illegal aliens.

Plan A was to include straightforward language granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, employing a tortured argument that it would have a significant budgetary impact. (It would. Just not a positive one.) Ms. MacDonough wasn’t buying this transparent effort to sneak major immigration policy changes into a budget bill.

Plan B was to move up the date before which illegal aliens had to be present in the country in order to be able to apply for a green card, again concocting strained arguments for why it belonged in a budget measure. That date is now fixed at Jan. 1, 1972, long before most illegal aliens were even born. Ms. MacDonough wasn’t buying that one either.

But when it comes to finding ways to reward illegal aliens, the White House and congressional Democrats are persistent. Having been rebuffed twice by the Senate parliamentarian, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., revealed that he and his colleagues have a Plan C up their sleeves. Plan C involves vastly expanding the president’s power of parole in order to allow an estimated 8 to 11 million illegal aliens to remain in the United States for up to 10 years, with authorization to work and access numerous public benefit programs. Based on incontrovertible evidence provided by other “temporary” grants to quasi-legal status, such as DACA and Temporary Protected Status, we all know that a 10-year reprieve is pure fiction and will never be rescinded.

Under current law, presidential parole power, with regard to immigration, is supposed to be a very limited one, allowing the chief executive the authority to grant admission to otherwise inadmissible aliens based on a case-by-case basis if doing so serves “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” What the urgent humanitarian reasons might be, or how the public would benefit significantly from such an act, or (again) why giving the president broad power to legalize millions of people with the stroke of a pen properly belongs in a budget bill, is all kind of murky.

Personal integrity and intellectual consistency would seem to indicate that Ms. MacDonough will have to rule that this third flimsy attempt to enact sweeping immigration policy changes as part of the budget reconciliation bill is out of order. No one has followed her into the bathroom with camera phones yet, or harassed her at home, but she cannot help but notice the growing pressure by belligerent amnesty advocates who are calling on Senate leaders to ignore her rulings or replace her with someone who will yield to their demands. 

There are many scenarios that can still play out in the coming weeks. The so-called Build Back Better bill may simply collapse because Democrats can’t agree on how much the bill should cost, or how they’re going to pay for it, in which case there will be no reconciliation bill to attach the amnesty provision to. Ms. MacDonough may (and should) rule that Plan C, like Plans A and B, doesn’t pass muster for the obvious reason that it has no place in a budget bill.

One thing we can be certain of, however, is that the amnesty zealots are not giving up. Somewhere in the bowels of the Capitol, staffers are busily working on Plan D. Or, perhaps, Plan Z.

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