WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the United States House of Representatives took an important step to modernize the immigration system with a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement:
“House and Senate Leadership, as well as President Biden, have been clear for months that they would include a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better legislative agenda. With today’s vote, the entire democratic caucus has voted in support of these efforts, highlighting the unified support for these overwhelmingly popular bipartisan policies that will help keep our economy growing and our families together.
“A pathway to citizenship would keep millions of families together, allow people who have been essential to the response and recovery from COVID-19 to continue to support their families and communities, and ensure millions of people are able to fully contribute to our workforce and economy. This legislation would also provide funding to further secure the border, focusing on keeping families and communities safe and together, and improving border processing at, and between, the ports of entry. It would have a substantial and important impact on the budget, resulting in billions of dollars in additional fees and taxes every year, and would result in hundreds of billions of dollars in economic growth. It therefore clearly fits within the long standing use of the reconciliation process. We urge the Congress to move swiftly to draft and pass a budget reconciliation bill and get it to the President’s desk for his signature as soon as possible.”
A Republican-controlled Senate included similar immigration provisions in a reconciliation bill, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, that adjusted the status of individuals, modified who would be counted under the cap, recaptured unused visas and imposed significant new immigration processing fees. An amendment to strike the immigration provisions was defeated 85-14. Senators McConnell and Cornyn, along with nearly all of their Republican colleagues at the time, voted against efforts to strip the immigration legislation out of the 2005 deficit reduction act.