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America’s Voice: Enact the Build Back Better Bill Now

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The immigration reforms in BBB give us a chance to enact work permits and deportation protections for 7 million immigrants this year

Washington, DC — The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

We urge all House Democrats to vote yes on the Build Back Better bill, and to do so today. 

The reform proposal in BBB would grant work permits, protection against deportation and international travel authorization to an estimated 7.1 million undocumented immigrants for a period of 10 years (10 years is the window for reconciliation bills). It would transform the daily lives of 1.6 million Dreamers, 360,000 TPS holders, 1 million farm workers, and 2.6 million essential workers. 

At a time when our economic recovery depends on the hard work and contributions of all in America, it is imperative that the legislative package aimed at pulling America out of the pandemic includes immigrant workers and their families.

No, the House language does not include the path to citizenship that America’s immigrants have earned. The Parliamentarian has already ruled twice against path to citizenship proposals, and has made it clear that a third such proposal would meet the same fate. We don’t like the rules, and we don’t agree with the Parliamentarian’s decisions. But if we are to break through this year, we believe an immigration permit program for 7 million is what is possible under budget reconciliation this year, and represents a huge step forward.

After 35 years of fighting for reform, it is our view that work permits, deportation protections and travel authorization will benefit millions of immigrants who are Americans in all but paperwork. Let’s get this done this year, and let’s continue the fight in the coming years until we win citizenship for all.