Democrats quietly scramble to include immigration provision in reconciliation bill

The most pressing question confronting Democrats is what to do about millions of undocumented immigrants seeking a path to legalization. One option under discussion is a plan to provide protected status that stops short of a path to citizenship. Another, which is seen by some of the people with knowledge of the situation as something of a placeholder, is to include a proposal that would enable immigrants who arrived in the United States before 2010 to apply for a green card…

On Monday, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Democrats had made some progress on a proposal to give undocumented immigrants a protected status that would enable them to work legally, pay taxes and live without fear of deportation. He said the Congressional Budget Office gave the plan a preliminary score.

An alternate idea that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her advisers have told Democratic members and aides in recent days to keep pursuing, according to people with knowledge of the situation, is the one that would enable immigrants who arrived in the United States before 2010 to apply for a green card. Pelosi’s office declined to comment on Monday on internal deliberations.

Several people with knowledge of the situation said Democrats are pursuing this track in case they feel they need to reach an agreement on the larger social spending plan before the Senate parliamentarian rules on the plan Durbin touted.