The federal government’s fiscal year ends on September 30, 2021, as does the taxpayer funding to keep the government open. If Congress functioned as it is supposed to, lawmakers would separately pass appropriations bills for each federal department for the entire next fiscal year. Instead, Congress tends to pass a short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution, that temporarily extends government funding while a larger omnibus appropriations bill that funds the entire government is crafted behind closed doors and filled with special interest handouts. But the Biden administration and Democrat lawmakers are going further, slipping in a number of policy goodies in the fiscal year 2022 continuing resolution that would fail on the merits if presented as individual pieces of legislation.
For the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of visa-less Afghans the Biden administration rushed into the United States over the past few weeks, the proposal is the functional equivalent of hitting the immigration lottery. If enacted, these Afghan aliens, or those posing as Afghanistan nationals, will gain access to welfare benefits, driver’s licenses, and an expedited path to citizenship not available to anyone else who plays by the rules of legal immigration under the Immigration and Nationality Act. To qualify, the alien just needs to have been paroled into the country between July 31, 2021, and September 30, 2022. Considering the last American plane departed Kabul on August 31, 2021, who exactly is Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas planning on paroling into the country over the next 13 months? Reducing the eligibility to those with parole, which Mayorkas is unlawfully granting on a categorical basis, covers every alien who fails to meet the criteria of refugee or Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). It is doubtful the media will cover this, but the Biden administration is admitting that the “refugees” and “interpreters” are largely not the population the government allowed into our country while leaving behind our own citizens and permanent residents.
Then, after just one year with parole, these visa-less Afghans get access to all the taxpayer-funded welfare programs that actual refugees qualify for immediately. On the other hand, lawful permanent residents must wait five years to even become eligible for welfare benefits and receipt of such benefits may render them a public charge. The Afghans need not worry as the continuing resolution waives the public charge ground of inadmissibility, and nearly every other ground of inadmissibility.
But the immigration giveaway isn’t done there. At the same time this population can start accessing welfare benefits they can also apply for a green card, and even request a fee waiver to get the status adjustment for free. Of course, there is no such thing as a free immigration benefit, it just means that someone else in the legal immigration system will pay more for their benefit to subsidize the Afghans. Congress would also exempt them from the green card annual numerical limitation, which will directly increase legal immigration beyond the one million green cards we award each year.
The immigration generosity isn’t over yet. While a lawful permanent resident typically has to wait at least five years before he or she can naturalize, the continuing resolution includes a calendar gimmick to further expedite their path to citizenship. If this becomes law, Afghans who are approved for a green card under the watered-down standards established in the continuing resolution will have their green cards backdated to the date they were paroled into the United States. Winding the clock backward in this manner ensures that these Afghans will be eligible to vote in the 2028 presidential election.
By waiving most of our immigration laws for this population, how long will it take for the next special-interest group to leverage their home country's national identity to get similar favorable treatment?