“We urge House leadership to hold a firm line against those who might seek to weaken these reforms or impose additional restrictions”
The following is a statement from America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry regarding the immigration reform provisions of the House BBB bill.
The House of Representatives has published the Build Back Better bill and plans to enact it by the end of the week. The bill includes immigration reform provisions that offer work permits, protection against deportation, access to benefits as allowed under law, and travel authorization. These would be available for a period of 10 years and to an estimated 7.1 million undocumented immigrants. Those eligible have been in America for at least ten years, and on average, those who qualify have lived and worked in America for twenty years.
For decades we have fought for a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in America. And we will not stop fighting for that goal until we achieve it. However, it’s now evident that what’s possible through the budget reconciliation process this year is not that. So, we are faced with a decision: should we support an immigration permit program that isn’t everything we want but is better than the status quo?
We started this year with a commitment to win the most protections for the most people, without adopting an all-or-nothing posture. The House bill calls for reforms that would enable millions of undocumented immigrants to live without fear of deportation, work without fear of exploitation caused by the lack of immigration status, and travel abroad to see loved ones without fear of being separated from home and family here in America.
We believe these are meaningful decade-long protections that will transform the daily lives of millions of people who are American in all but paperwork. We urge House leadership to hold a firm line against those who might seek to weaken these reforms or impose additional restrictions. We look forward to the Senate leadership presenting these reforms to the Parliamentarian as early as possible so we move forward.
Let’s get this done this year, and let’s continue the fight in the coming years until we win citizenship for all.