(Headline USA) A group of Senate Democrats announced this week that they will not support any legislative changes to the immigration system unless Congress votes to provide amnesty for all “long-standing” illegal immigrants.
Lawmakers are debating over potential changes to the asylum system as part of a supplemental aid package for Ukraine and Israel. Republicans, specifically, have called for placing limits on the use of asylum, including tightening the standard of credible fear used by many immigrants to remain in the country, in order to address the ongoing border crisis.
Another proposal would require the Department of Homeland Security to keep families in custody while they wait for their asylum claims to be heard by an immigration court—a move intended to prevent cartels and smugglers from using children to secure a quicker release.
The coalition of 11 Democratic senators blasted the proposal as “harmful” and said they would not consider supporting it unless it was coupled with a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
“As negotiations surrounding the supplemental aid package progress, we are concerned about reports of harmful changes to our asylum system that will potentially deny lifesaving humanitarian protection for vulnerable people, including children, and fail to deliver any meaningful improvement to the situation at the border,” they said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“Any proposal considering permanent changes to our asylum and immigration system needs to include a clear path to legalization for long-standing undocumented immigrants,” they added.
The Democrats went on to claim that a secure border is not possible “without increasing lawful pathways for migration and legalizing long-time undocumented immigrants who put food on our tables, care for our elderly, and form the fabric of our communities.”
The senators who signed the statement include Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Alex Padilla of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
Some Democrat-run cities and states have recently begun to complain about the border crisis and point fingers at the Biden administration for its open-border policies—including states like Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Some on the left have deflected responsibility, insisting that it is up to Congress to act. However, the refusal of the senators to act without an amnesty deal is likely to confirm the suspicious of many that leftists have deliberately engineered the border chaos for their own political benefit as they cynically seek to import new Democratic voters in pursuit of permanent majorities.