That situation has in many ways united both immigrant and civil rights groups against Biden in an unprecedented way. The administration has continued the Trump administration’s use of a provision called Title 42, which allows for expedited deportation during a health emergency like the coronavirus, to deport Haitian immigrants without assessing their asylum claims. This was already a sore spot on the left.
But both Booker and Scott said Wednesday that they had reached an impasse, with Booker saying he had offered Scott a bare-minimum proposal and that it was rejected. Scott said he will “never walk away from the table” but, in a telling portion of his statement, suggested Democrats had reverted “to a partisan approach to score political points.” Scott also echoed the broader GOP’s attacks on the relatively few Democrats who have pushed for defunding the police.
A key portion of Biden’s agenda for Hispanic voters was also stifled over the weekend by the Senate parliamentarian, who is in charge of interpreting Senate rules. Elizabeth MacDonough determined that Democrats couldn’t include a path to citizenship for as many as 8 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States in the infrastructure package they aim to pass via the reconciliation process. Democrats hoped to include it in the bill because the measure is not subject to the usual 60-vote threshold under the Senate’s filibuster rules.
Given all of that, it makes the situation at the border most troublesome for the administration — particularly given so many on the left are effectively saying the Biden administration is continuing the kind of Trump administration policies they railed against. The choice for Biden now is between doubling down and choosing a less-restrictive policy that might satisfy these groups but could encourage immigrants to show up at the border — thus feeding a growing crisis that polls show has already damaged Biden.
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