Nikki Haley on Tuesday said that President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to give a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants would “undermine the rule of law” while also failing to address problems with the asylum system — a sign of likely Republican opposition to the proposal.
“Biden will unveil a bill on Day 1 to give citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants,” the former U.N. ambassador said. “His proposal will undermine the rule of law, even as it fails to secure the U.S. border or address our badly broken asylum system.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris told Univision last week that the immigration bill would be “first order of business” and will be about “creating a pathway for people to earn citizenship.” She said that pathway would be eight years long.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the bill would put illegal immigrants into protected status and a five-year pathway to a green card. If they meet certain conditions, such as payment of taxes and a background check, they could then be put on a three-year pathway to citizenship.
The Post reported that the bill would also include border security provisions at the border, and said it would see increased technology at the border — but it is unclear what this involves. Biden has promised that “not another foot” of President Trump’s border wall will be built under his administration.
The bill, if passed, would mark a significant win for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and immigration activist groups — which have sought amnesty for illegal immigrants for years.
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Democrats have control of the House, Senate and White House and will likely be united in their support of the legislation. However, in the Senate, the bill will need 10 Republican votes to pass and be sent to Biden’s desk.
But Republicans are likely to oppose the bill, especially if it does not include muscular border security measures — a typical Republican demand of all past immigration reform proposals.
While the legislation has not been formally unveiled yet, Haley is not the only Republican to signal their opposition to the proposal.
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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., blocked the quick consideration of Alejandro Mayorkas — Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security — citing the immigration proposal, as well as Mayorkas’ answers on border security.
“On Day 1 of his administration, President-elect Biden has said he plans to unveil an amnesty plan for 11 million immigrants in this nation illegally,” the populist senator said. “This comes at a time when millions of American citizens remain out of work and a new migrant caravan has been attempting to reach the United States.”