Democrats still trying to get illegal immigrants provisions into stalled $3.5 trillion spending bill

Whether the provision can be included in Senate Democrats' reconciliation bill still remains unclear

Updated: October 26, 2021 - 8:33am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Congressional Democrats are still trying to include immigration provisions into their multi-trillion-dollar climate change and social-safety-net spending bill already stuck on Capitol Hill over how to pay for the measure.

Illinois Sen Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, is still working on a provision that would give illegal immigrants government benefits, allow them to work legally and require them to pay taxes. 

Durbin said Monday the proposal – known as the "Parole Option” – would also give such immigrants protected status so that they could live without fear of deportation and that the Congressional Budget Office has given the plan a preliminary score, according to The Washington Post

Though all 50 Senate Republicans will likely not support the proposal, it is expected to have the support of all 50 Senate Democrats, all of whom are needed to pass the bill through the so-called budget reconciliation process that will require no GOP votes for passage.

The larger and long-standing hurdle will be whether the Senate parliamentarian allows the proposal to be included in the reconciliation process, which is for spending bills and whether it violates the so-called Byrd Rule, which prohibits the Senate from considering extraneous matter as part of a reconciliation bill or resolution or conference report.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and her advisers are purportedly behind a proposal in her chamber that would enable immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before 2010 to apply for a green card, The Post also reports. Pelosi's office declined comment Monday to the newspaper on the matter.