Did you know that in addition to changing her party affiliation from Democrat to independent (because Democrats reeeaaally don’t like her), Kyrsten Sinema also moonlights as a comic? The Arizona senator told Bloomberg Government that following failure to gain enough GOP support for her enforcement-heavy immigration framework that would’ve created a pathway to legalization for eligible young immigrants, she plans to continue immigration talks in the next Congress.
“We ran out of time in these last couple days before the holidays, but we will be coming back strong in January, continuing to build bipartisan support for our framework,” she said in the report. Coming back strong! She seems to be pretty optimistic. But House Republicans, who will control the lower chamber by a slim majority beginning next month, might be laughing along with us.
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House Republicans might be laughing at Sinema’s belief that immigration talks “will be coming back strong” in the new Congress because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has pledged numerous times that no humane immigration legislation will pass the chamber should he be in control. Oh sure, House Republicans will likely pass shit that actively harms migrants, like maybe something that would try codifying the anti-asylum Title 42 policy that the Biden administration is currently in court seeking to end.
But a bill like the Dream Act, or a bill for the undocumented farmworkers who feed these lawmakers and us? Hell no.
Of course, it’s Kevin who’s publicly pledged no amnesty, but even Kevin’s not so sure he’s got the votes needed to become the next speaker, a gig he expected to be handed to him on a silver platter after having to tag after John Boehner and Paul Ryan like a lost puppy. Now he’s been engaged in corrupt bargaining to win over the super-extremists who make him look like a moderate. No one knows what he’s promised to the likes of the deplorable Marjorie Taylor Greene, but she’s “O.K.” with Kevin. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if a no amnesty discussion was a part of their talks.
Could a major court decision around the Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) program change anything? One major reason why advocates and some lawmakers had been pushing for action during the lame duck session is because the program will likely be terminated by the conservative courts next year. Without legislation the effects will be catastrophic, and that’s not an exaggeration: An estimated 22,000 program beneficiaries will lose their work permits and protection from deportation every single month if there’s no permanent relief.
DACA’s rescission by the insurrectionist president in September 2017 was resoundingly condemned, and lawmakers issued statement after statement calling for legislation, but it never happened.
Sinema’s immigration framework with Republican Thom Tillis coupled permanent relief for DACA recipients with an extension of the debunked Title 42 policy. But Senate Republicans dusted off their “border first” excuses to oppose the framework even though it included harsh border measures and border agent raises. I guess they don’t really support Border Patrol:
“Sinema said she’s already engaged with Republicans and Democrats in the House on the immigration framework,” Bloomberg Government reported. She’s also planning a border visit stunt with Tillis and John Cornyn, one of the very Republicans who threw cold water on the failed immigration framework from the start! These are not serious people.
Could House Democrats win over a handful of Republicans to support something? Some Republicans went across the aisle to support the Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act last year. In fact, 30 Republicans supported the latter. But in the next House, any bill will have to pass a GOP-controlled committee before it even has a chance of being permitted to go to the GOP-controlled floor. House Democrats tried looking at a discharge petition when they were in the minority and after the Senate under Harry Reid’s leadership passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but that went nowhere.
So, yeah, I’m doubtful but certainly would be glad to be proved wrong. But then again, this is Kyrsten Sinema, who has shown she’ll say and do anything—including changing her party affiliation because she’s become so unpopular with the Democratic base—when its politically expedient. “’I’m not optimistic,’ said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who previously raised concerns about the Title 42 extension and other provisions in the Sinema-Tillis framework.”
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