Rep. Banks says GOP must ‘do everything we can’ to block amnesty after Schumer renews Dem push
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., urges his Republican colleagues to “do everything possible” to prevent Democrats from passing amnesty for illegal immigrants, after the Senate Majority Leader , Chuck Schumer, said that his “ultimate goal” is to give citizenship. paths to at least 11 million illegal immigrants.
“Democrats were afraid to push amnesty ahead of the midterms because it’s so unpopular,” Banks, the head of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “But they calculated that amnesty will be old news by 2024, and they’re counting on the millions of new voters to return the favor.”
With Republicans poised to control the House in the next Congress, which begins in January, Democrats and immigration activists are trying to make one last push for citizenship for illegal immigrants before they lose control of the chamber.
Democrats held a news conference Tuesday calling for a path to citizenship for recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects illegal immigrants who they came to the United States as minors. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed that the Democrats’ ultimate goal is amnesty for all those in the country illegally.
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“Now more than ever, we’re short on workers, we’ve got a population that’s not reproducing itself at the same level as before,” Schumer said.
“The only way we’re going to have a great future in America is if we welcome and welcome immigrants, the DREAMERS and – all of them. Because our ultimate goal is to help DREAMers, but to get a path to citizenship for the 11 million, or many undocumented immigrants.”
Schumer’s comments echo calls from many Democrats, as well as top members of the Biden administration who have pushed for a massive amnesty, even amid a raging crisis at the southern border that saw more than 230,000 migrant encounters in October alone.
Both the administration and congressional Democrats made multiple attempts to pass citizenship pathways for illegal immigrants, including introducing a sweeping immigration reform bill in early 2021, and attempts to pass it through a budget reconciliation move to avoid a Republican filibuster, but eventually they were. without success
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While an amnesty for all those in the country illegally is unlikely to win any Republican support in either chamber, immigration hawks have repeatedly expressed concern that a smaller amnesty, such as for those who may be eligible for DACA, it could rally enough Republicans. support to pass the Senate, especially if accompanied by some border security measures.
Efforts to approve a path to citizenship for DACA-eligibles received renewed impetus last month after a federal appeals court ruled that the Obama administration lacked the authority to institute the controversial program in 2012. The decision prevents further enrollment in the program, but does not affect any of the approximately 700,000 current enrollees.
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said the ruling “further underscores the need for Republicans to work with Democrats to quickly adopt and pass legislation” to grant “permanent protections” to DACA recipients.
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At home, Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted that Democrats have passed legislation to offer illegal immigrants, including DACA recipients, a path to citizenship, and called on Senate Republicans to do the same.
“Senate Republicans must join us in immediately passing this urgent and necessary legislation passed by the House and sending it directly to President Biden’s desk,” he said.
Banks, however, cautions that Republicans must follow through on their previous promises to oppose such measures that they made during the midterm campaign.
“Republicans must keep our promises and do everything we can to block amnesty,” Banks said.
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.