A growing chorus of lawmakers and community advocates have joined the Biden Administration in urging for a pathway to citizenship to be included in a reconciliation package, just a day after the Senate Parliamentarian issued a ruling denying the first of a series of proposals that would allow people to adjust status.
The groundswell of support mirrors a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans, who believe in providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants over separating their families and deporting them.
Here’s what elected officials have to say about the fight for a pathway to citizenship:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues. Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days.
“The American people understand that fixing our broken immigration system is a moral and economic imperative. America has always been that shining city on the hill that welcomes those pursuing the American Dream and our economy depends more than ever on immigrants. Despite putting their lives on the line during the pandemic and paying their fair share of taxes, they remain locked out of the federal assistance that served as a lifeline for so many families. We will continue fighting to pursue the best path forward to grant them the ability to obtain lawful status.”
Joint Statement from Senator Richard Durbin and Senator Alex Padilla:
“We are deeply disappointed in the Parliamentarian’s decision, but the fight for immigration reform will continue. Senate Democrats have prepared an alternative proposal for the Parliamentarian’s consideration in the coming days.”
Senator Bob Menendez:
“Over the last months, I have engaged my Democratic colleagues and the Biden-Harris Administration to build a strong coalition of elected officials, business leaders and entrepreneurs, advocates, immigrant families, and faith leaders to deliver real results for our community. We strategized and prepared solid arguments for the Senate Parliamentarian on the merits of providing a pathway to citizenship through the reconciliation process, and while I disagree with her decision today, I always knew this would be a long process. I and my Democratic colleagues intend to continue working until we get to yes with the Parliamentarian.
“I have spent decades, since my days in the House of Representatives, fighting for inclusive and humane immigration reform that would help bring millions of hard-working undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. Yet, instead of working with us, Republicans have doubled down on their Trumpian tactics and refused to negotiate in good faith to create an immigration system that treats immigrants with the dignity and respect they deserve.
“I still believe this is the year when we can finally accomplish bold, inclusive, and humane immigration reform for millions, and I won’t stop fighting until we do just that. The immigrant community has waited too long and worked too hard for the good of the country, and I won’t take no for an answer. We may have lost one battle but we will keep fighting until our undocumented immigrants receive the chance they deserve to share in the American dream. I will continue to work until their tears of fear become tears of joy.”
Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
“While we did not get the decision we wanted from the Senate Parliamentarian, the fight is far from over,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will continue our ‘all-of-the-above and any which way’ approach to passing immigration reform. We look forward to the Senate Democrats’ alternative proposal to the Senate Parliamentarian and remain confident that we will secure a path forward on immigration reform.”
Senator Mark Warner
“I’m disappointed by the parliamentarian’s recent ruling. However, we must be clear: the fight for immigration reform is NOT over. I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senators Dick Durbin and Alex Padilla, to help protect the thousands of TPS holders and DACA recipients who call Virginia home.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren:
“Our country’s immigration system has been broken for too long, & reform is desperately needed. Although the Senate Parliamentarian’s decision is deeply disappointing, this is not over. Senate Democrats are exploring other approaches. We will keep fighting.”
Senator Tim Kaine:
“I’m saddened by this decision, but I remain deeply committed to protecting immigrants who call America home, including over 20,000 TPS holders and 9,000 DACA recipients in Virginia. Our Commonwealth and our economy are stronger thanks to their contributions, and I will not rest until we put them on the path to citizenship.”
Congressman Chuy García:
“I am deeply disappointed by the Senate parliamentarian’s decision against including a pathway to citizenship in budget reconciliation. But the fight is far from over. We are prepared for this, we have a plan, and we remain optimistic.
“The parliamentarian ruled against one approach but Senate Democrats have the final say. We must do right by the immigrants who have kept our country going during the pandemic, including the over 40,000 DACA recipients, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers in my district who help our communities thrive. I will not stop fighting until they have a pathway to citizenship in the country they call home, and I urge the Senate to have the courage to overrule this decision.”
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar:
“History has proven that justice isn’t easy. The Parliamentarian’s decision tonight is deeply disappointing, but we should not despair or give up. I remain hopeful because we prepared for this possibility. And the economic impact and net advantages of immigration are undeniable.”