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Immigration – The Perennial Legislative White Whale?

As reported in Tuesday, May 10th’s Hill Newspaper, which mirrors what Mike Oscar is hearing in meetings with congressional staff on immigration reform, “it’s all about the border.”  As Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) stated in a recent immigration meeting with a small group of senators, “I … said we can’t do anything until we deal with the border crisis. And so that’s, until we kind of get over that obstacle, I think it’s hard to get public support for doing these other things where there is a lot of common ground.” As the Hill pointed out, “what the policy should be for processing migrants arriving at the southern border has been a long-running sticking point in any attempts on Capitol Hill to strike a deal on immigration, a perennial legislative white whale.”  Additionally, President Biden’s decision to rescind Title 42, a President Trump pandemic public health policy that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and blocks them from seeking asylum, is another sticking point.  These negotiations are at the beginning stages and Sen. Padilla (D-CA) stated “still no deal but good enough to keep talking.”

Sens. Padilla (D-CA), Menendez (D-NJ), Luján (D-NM), and Masto (D-NV) met with President Biden last week to urge the administration to take executive action related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Temporary Protected Status holders and “hardworking immigrant families.” Per Sen. Tillis (R-NC), “I think if they do executive action when we’re trying to negotiate in good faith, it will pretty much end any opportunity for us to do something here.”