SEN. GRASSLEY: Changing law to legalize millions of ‘undocumented immigrants’ a major policy change with impacts beyond budget

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I want to briefly speak on the guidance we received last night from the Senate parliamentarians regarding the unprecedented attempt to include wide-ranging immigration provisions in the upcoming reconciliation bill.

That guidance indicated that a proposal to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants is not appropriate for inclusion in a budget reconciliation bill.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, my office was deeply involved in the bipartisan discussions that took place with the parliamentarians on this issue.

I will say that I agree with the parliamentarian’s guidance.

I think it reflects an obvious truth – changing the law to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants is a major policy change with significant impacts that reach far beyond the federal budget.

More broadly, reform of our immigration laws is an important public policy issue.

It’s a topic that many Americans and many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle care deeply about.

It’s an issue that inspires fierce debate, sharp disagreement and great passion in people on all sides of the argument.

It does so because, at its core, the issue of immigration is about the policies we put in place to give people from around the world one of the most meaningful and precious gifts we can give – the right to legally establish your life here and, in many cases, pursue American citizenship.

That’s not something that can be boiled down to a CBO score. It’s not something that can be reduced to a line item in the federal budget. I think everyone here in Congress and Americans around the country already knew that.

That’s what made this most recent attempt to abuse the reconciliation process by the Democratic leadership even more obvious.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on measures to secure the border and improve our immigration system.

But those measures need to be pursued in a way that complies with the rules of the Senate.

The recent proposal put forward by Senate Democrats clearly was not, and I hope we can engage in a more productive legislative process moving forward.