FWD.us Statement: U.S. Senate Takes an Important Step to Pass a Pathway to Citizenship via Budget Reconciliation

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the United States Senate 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:

“Today, the Senate took a necessary step forward to include reconciliation instructions in the budget resolution with a pathway to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers who have kept our country safe during the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. The human impact of this legislation cannot be overstated. 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. Further, this legislation would 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 has been decades since Congress made fundamental reforms to the immigration system, and these budgetary reforms are a vital step forward toward keeping our families together, our border secure, and our economy growing. It would have a substantial and important impact on the budget, resulting in billions of dollars in 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 pass the budget reconciliation and get it to the President’s desk for his immediate signature.”

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.

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