The new budget proposal from Senate Democrats will dramatically increase the number of available green cards and include amnesty for illegal immigrants, according to an official fact sheet on the $3.5 trillion budget circulated by leadership.
The summary of the proposed budget, which was overseen by Senate Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), says the budget will provide "green cards to millions of immigrant workers and families." Current law caps the total number of green cards, known officially as permanent resident cards, at just under 1.1 million annually. The budget will additionally offer illegal immigrants in the United States a "pathway to citizenship," Sanders wrote on Monday morning. There are an estimated 10 to 12 million undocumented aliens in the country.
It is unclear how many green cards Democrats aim to make newly available through the legislation, which was released Monday morning. The immigration provisions in the Democratic budget appear to be inspired in part by Biden's campaign promise to make green cards available to family members of other green card recipients, regardless of annual caps. Biden's campaign website promised to "[support] legislation that treats the spouse and children of green card holders as the immediate relatives they are, exempting them from caps."
Democrats face bipartisan scrutiny over the border crisis, with the number of migrants attempting to enter the country through Mexico at a 21-year high. The $3.5 trillion budget has not yet earned support from moderate Democratic senators like Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), although she has said she'll vote "yes" on procedural motions. Democratic leaders say they hope to pass the bill through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to avoid a filibuster from Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) referred to the budget as "reckless," and it is not expected to receive any Republican support.
Sanders said the budget proposal is "the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s."
The Biden administration has repeatedly told migrants not to attempt to enter the country at this time, citing the pandemic and strained resources. Critics say Biden's decision to eliminate Trump-era policies like "Remain in Mexico" is in large part the source of the migration surge.
The budget also "funds smart technology for safe and efficient borders for trade, travel, and migration," although specifics have yet to be released. Various NGOs and consulting firms, such as Deloitte, have recommended "smart" refugee resettlement technology that includes using data analysis to quickly process and place asylum seekers in various U.S. cities.
Sanders tweeted Monday morning that his party's budget "will bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of the deadly pandemic," but offered no specifics.
The budget proposal will include many liberal policy proposals that were left out of the bipartisan infrastructure proposal, which is expected to pass through the Senate this week. Aside from dramatically expanding legal immigration, the budget includes a number of left-wing initiatives such as tuition-free community college, hiking the corporate and personal tax rate, and expanding ObamaCare.