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Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against Democrats’ pitch to include immigration reform provisions in the $2 trillion spending bill for the third time. Senate Majority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) said he was “disappointed” with the ruling and that Democrats are “considering what options remain.” The party hoped to include work permits for immigrants who came to the U.S. before 2011 and make available unused family-based or employment-based visas in the bill, among other provisions. In a Dec. 1 debate with Republicans, Democrats argued the work permits and other provisions would have a budgetary impact, according to two congressional sources. NPR
In other federal immigration news…
Democrats could overrule parliamentarian for immigration measures
Senate Democrats haven’t figured out a strategy for how to get their preferred immigration legislation into President Joe Biden’s spending package. Still, they’re leaving open the option of either overriding Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s guidance. “Every tool that exists, whether it’s legislative or procedural, should be kept on the table. … We need to pursue every option,” Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been participating in the negotiations, said they were “considering all the options legislatively, procedurally, administratively, so we’ll see.” The two issued a statement along with Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) — in which they vowed to “pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act.” The Hill
U.S. border authorities misplaced immigrants with medical conditions in Trump-era program
Attorneys say they’ve identified about 24 immigrants, some with medical issues, who shouldn’t have been placed in the relaunched “Remain in Mexico” program since the first group of individuals was sent to Mexico on Dec. 8. Twelve members of the LGBTQ community and 16 people with medical conditions were among those returned, including a man who was raped and threatened with death in Mexico after men discovered he and his partner were gay. According to the email, about nine of the 24 were taken out of the program after the Border Project contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection. BuzzFeed News