The Parliamentarian Pounces Again

By David North on September 30, 2021

Earlier this week, Parliamentarian of the United States Senate Elizabeth MacDonough struck again to kill another Democratic attempt to sneak an amnesty proposal into the pending (and massive) reconciliation bill.

My colleague Art Arthur and I have each reported on her earlier decision to bar the administration’s attempt to attach a proposed eight million or so amnesty provision to that bill.

The more recent decision, according to The Hill, dealt with a new scheme by the Democrats, Plan B if you will, to update a continuing and extremely obscure legalization program last legislated upon in the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of the Reagan years.

This is the so-called “Registry Date” program, which grants legal status to a small and rapidly diminishing class of illegals. Currently, every unauthorized alien who has been continuously here since January 1, 1972, and who does not have a substantial criminal record, can sign up for a green card. Needless to say, this is a tiny, diminishing, and aging population.

The Democrats want to advance that date, presumably by decades. MacDonough said no, this is a policy issue with little budget impact, and thus not appropriate for an appropriations bill.

Coincidentally, the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics arrived in the mail this week — this DHS publication had been held up by printing problems — and so I looked in both of them to see how many aliens had used the registry date technique.

These are richly detailed collections of statistics, and if you look at the next to the last line of the 291-line Table 7 “Persons Obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status by Detailed Class of Admission: Fiscal Year 2019", you will learn that there were 55 of them that year.

The title of this subclass of new LPRs is “entered 6/29/40 - 1/1/72, Section 249, P.L. 89-236, adjustments (Z66)”; there were 42 of these old codgers in FY 2018.

Incidentally, any nation that has 291 different sets of ways to immigrant status is running a much too complex system. Further, if we have 291 different ways to grant admission, we cannot be charged with being indifferent to the desires of would-be immigrants.

All of the yearbooks can be viewed online, here.