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Senate Democrats Include Immigration in Budget Reconciliation

Plus: Biden keeps upholding Trump immigration policies, Republican governors falsely blame COVID uptick on migrants

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Senate Democrats unveiled their $3.5 trillion budget framework for the 2022 fiscal year on Monday, and it includes immigration reform and a direct pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. If these measures become law, they would reshape the legal atmosphere for immigrants, possibly marking the largest overhaul of U.S. immigration statuses since the Reagan administration. The framework for the bill, which will need the whole party’s support to pass, lists two items regarding immigration — “lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants” and “investments in smart and effective border security measures.” No further details were included in the framework, but Democrats have voiced support for providing legal status to estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. VOA News 

In other federal immigration news…

Biden Complained About Trump’s Policies But Still Uses Them

Despite promising to overturn former President Trump’s immigration policies and condemning them throughout his campaign, President Biden is still upholding several of the past administration’s actions. For example, the Biden administration has supported the expiration of some visas, pushed for laborious requirements for investors seeking green cards and supported the dismissal of permanent residency for undocumented immigrants. Former administration officials and immigration lawyers say Biden may be stuck upholding Trump’s rules in certain cases. But in some instances, Biden’s team argued policies enacted under former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf were legal even after a federal judge decided Wolf didn’t lawfully serve his position. And either way, immigration advocates are growing tired of Biden’s apparent pivot. Politico 

Republicans Continue to Blame Migrants for COVID-19 Increase

As COVID-19 infection rates rise throughout the South, Republican governors continue to blame migrants for the uptick. “I can tell you, whatever variants are around the world, they’re coming across that southern border,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said, without any proof. According to medical experts, migrants aren’t more likely to have COVID-19 than any travelers crossing the border or someone living in a COVID-19 hotspot in the U.S. Dr. Michele Heisler, medical director of organization Physical for Human Rights, pointed out that the locations in the U.S. with the highest positivity rates aren’t near the border, but have the lowest vaccination rates. NPR

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