Since reaching the Oval Office, President Joe Biden has wasted little time in working to undo Donald Trump’s legacy on immigration, throwing his weight behind sweeping initiatives such as ordering a halt to further funding for construction of a southern border wall.
Though the Biden administration recently introduced a massive immigration bill that would give a path to citizenship for roughly 11 million undocumented individuals, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) told Breitbart over the weekend that he believes Senate Republicans have sufficient votes to block its passage, something sure to frustrate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has praised the legislation’s aims.
While Democrats maintain a majority in the House, the Senate is divided equally on party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris capable of casting a tie-breaking vote. As such, Democrats would have to secure the support of 10 Republicans in order to overcome a filibuster effort that would stall or thwart the bill entirely.
Speaking to Breitbart at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Sen. Cotton expressed his faith that Democrats could not attract those necessary votes, and when questioned about whether the bill would become law, answered, “not if I have anything to do with it.”
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Biden plan would grant green cards to those previously covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs. It would also shrink the current timeline for citizenship from 13 years down to just eight, as Roll Call reported.
Harris herself told Univision in January that the plan represented a “smarter and more humane way of approaching immigration,” but did not specify at the time what recipients of these concessions would be required to do in order to receive a grant of citizenship.
While Cotton remained firm in his conviction that the Biden bill is doomed on arrival in the Senate, he warned of the dangers posed by the series of executive actions the new president has taken in regard to immigration, saying that they are effectively “rolling back a lot of Donald Trump’s very common sense America First policies,” as Breitbart noted.
Among the moves made by Biden in the early days of his administration were orders creating a task force to facilitate reunification of families previously separated at the southern border, suspending the Remain in Mexico policy for those seeking asylum, and initiating a critical review of expanded Trump-era enforcement of the public charge rule, which weighed a potential immigrant’s likely need for public assistance in assessing residency applications.
Democrat supporters of the bill acknowledge the long odds this particular legislation faces in its current form, but it seems all but certain that their push to reverse the gains made by the Trump administration in strengthening our borders will continue apace.