Michele Hackman’s analysis of the Senate bill


This is a summary of Hackman’s analysis in this morning’s Wall Street Journal (2/5/24).It does not include the provision for aid to Ukraine and Israel, rather focuses on the immigration provisions.

Setting up a new process at the southern border

A new asylum determination system is proposed, designed to process migrants within approximately 90 days. This system applies to all migrants, regardless of their mode of entry into the U.S., with a focus on rapid screenings and potential detainment for adults, while families with minors would likely be monitored through devices. The process includes stringent initial screenings, with non-compliance leading to swift deportation. However, timelines for these procedures are flexible, with protections for those experiencing delays.

Creating a new expulsion authority

The bill suggests a temporary authority to limit asylum claims during surges in border crossings, inspired by the Title 42 policy. This measure allows the government to restrict border entries when illegal crossings exceed specific thresholds, aiming to prevent the overwhelming of detention capacities. Even during such shutdowns, a certain number of asylum appointments would still be processed, ensuring some level of access to asylum procedures.

Limiting humanitarian parole at the border

Restrictions are placed on the use of humanitarian parole at the southern border, focusing instead on legal entry points like airports for humanitarian reasons. This change aims to streamline border entries and maintain specific humanitarian programs for nationals from countries like Ukraine and Venezuela.

Expanding legal immigration

The legislation plans to increase the availability of Green Cards by 50,000 annually for five years, targeting both family reunification and employment-based categories. This expansion is intended to alleviate the backlog and long wait times currently faced by many immigrants, especially from high-demand countries.

Creating a path to citizenship for Afghan refugees

An Afghan Adjustment Act within the bill would offer a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship for Afghan refugees evacuated during the U.S. military withdrawal, addressing the legal limbo many face.

Including a fix for ‘documented dreamers’

The bill proposes solutions for “documented dreamers,” children of legal immigrants who lose their status upon turning 21 due to Green Card backlogs. It aims to prevent these individuals from being forced out of the U.S. by allowing them to remain under their parents’ visa status until they can secure permanent residency.



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