Posted on September 29, 2021

Senate Parliamentarian Rules Out Democrats’ Immigration Plan B

Jordain Carney, The Hill, September 29, 2021

The Senate parliamentarian has nixed Democrats’ back-up plan for getting immigration reform into a sweeping spending bill, handing them a second setback.

Democrats had pitched parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants by making a change to the date for when undocumented immigrants within the United States can apply to adjust their legal status.

But MacDonough told Democrats that the option was a non-starter, according to a copy of the guidance obtained by The Hill. Democrats are pursuing other back-up plans with the Senate referee, according to a source familiar with Democrats’ strategy.


Democrats had initially pitched MacDonough on using their spending bill to provide 8 million green cards to immigrants in four groups: “Dreamers,” who came to the U.S. illegally as children; temporary protected status (TPS) holders; agricultural workers and other essential workers. But she rejected that earlier this month, saying that it was “not appropriate” for reconciliation, the budget process Democrats are using to bypass the filibuster on their spending bill.