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Schumer Must Get-a-Grip in Lame Duck Congress
Peggy Sands Orchowski -- Immigration Expert Peggy Sands Orchowski -- Immigration Expert
Washington, DC
Friday, December 2, 2022


EXPERT CLICK It's Get-a-Grip Time Schumer in Lame Duck Congress

By Peggy Orchowski

Whatever is Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) thinking? 

In 2009 Senator Schumer said repeatedly: "Americans love legal immigrants; they just don't want illegal immigration. Immigration laws must be enforced," He said it emphatically at  a Georgetown Law School Immigration and Law event that I was covering as a Congressional Correspondent for the Hispanic Outlook magazine, when he was taking over the senate judiciary/immigration committee seat for the recently deceased Ted Kennedy. Most all Senators including Democrats agreed with him

 But just before Thanksgiving 2022, the now two term, Senate Leader Schumer announced at a Latino event that  "all 11 million or however many there are undocumented immigrants (that is, migrants living and working in the  United States without authorization and hence illegally) must be legalized by the lame duck 117th Democratic congress in the next six weeks or it won't happen for a decade. That includes millions of foreign nationals who came into the country legally on TEMPORARY permits like student, visitor, work H1As and Bs, and then overstayed them -- making them now illegally in the country.

Schumer said it included the some 600,000  recipients of temporary 2-year DACA waivers from deportation that President Obama ordered during a rough re-election campaign in 2012 (the Democratic-only Hispanic Congressional Congress threatened to withhold campaign contributions unless he legalized some of the millions of young adults who had come into the US before the age of 16 before 2007).  Today's Schumer also includes the 2 million people from all over the world who have crossed the border illegally since 2020; and the millions more who have crossed without being caught, or who tried to cross and couldm't and even millions who have been deported. 

NOTE: that number  "11 million" illegal immigrants is truly a magic number!  It has not grown or shrunk in the past 12 years despite Obama being called the "deporter in chief" for having deported some 5 percent of them in 2014 (he still lost the senate to the Republicans); and despite 3-4 million new migrants who have crossed the border illegally since 2020. Treat that 11 million number with care!

But back to 2022. It is doubtful that ANY illegal migrant will be given green cards by this waning 117th Congress no matter how compelling their stories. Legislators have already used the first week of the lame duck session scrambling to choose new party congressional leaders and pass in both chambers a compromised gay marriage act and halt a potential rail strike before Christmas. Their top priority in the 3 or so weeks left in December must be the defense authorization act – a bill of over 1000 pages that almost no one will read completely and contains something almost everyone has promised to their constituents they will pass. Some kind of an omnibus budget continuation bill will be negotiated. And then legislators will return to the task of switching offices and committee assignments for the 118th congress to begin in January. 

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Name: Peggy Sands Orchowski
Title: Senior Congressional Correspondent
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Main Phone: 202-236-5595
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