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US immigration reform unlikely to be included in upcoming budget reconciliation package

Reforming immigration policies to better serve the US farm sector will probably be excluded from the budget reconciliation bill, says National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

27 September 2021, at 10:19am

Immigration reform likely will need to be achieved through something other than the budget reconciliation bill now that the Senate parliamentarian has ruled it can’t be attached to the $3.5 trillion, 10-year spending and revenue measure.

Senate Democrats had proposed a plan to give legal status to up to 8 million immigrants, including DREAMers – children brought to the United States illegally – those with Temporary Protected Status who came from countries hit by natural disasters or civil unrest, “essential” workers and agricultural workers.

Democrats may adjust their proposal as a way to make it eligible for the budget bill. Separately, President Biden will raise the annual cap on the number of refugees allowed into the country to 125,000, beginning 1 October. In May, the president raised the cap to 62,500 from 15,000, the limit set during the Trump administration.

NPPC continues to urge Congress and the Biden administration to expand the existing H-2A visa for temporary, seasonal farm workers to year-round agricultural workers.