Congress must deliver pathways to citizenship this year
Washington, DC – Following Judge Andrew Hanen’s anti-DACA ruling, leading Democrats are stressing the urgency of delivering legislation that creates pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants this year. With millions of futures hanging in the balance, only Congress can enact a permanent solution.
This past week, the Senate put forward a budget resolution for a reconciliation package on human infrastructure that includes Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers and essential workers. Given Republicans’ proven hostility to a legislative breakthrough, it’s up to Democrats to deliver using the budget reconciliation process or another 51-vote vehicle.
As Frank Sharry stated after the Hanen ruling, “This is a break-glass moment … We need a long overdue breakthrough, a concrete result, a piece of legislation signed into law. You have the majority and we plead with you to use every ounce of your power … You’ve created the vehicle, now drive it across the finish line. It’s up to you. Failure is not an option.”
See below for key voices and quotes:
- President Joe Biden: “I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency. It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear.”
- Vice President Kamala Harris: “To all the Dreamers out there experiencing fear and uncertainty, know that @POTUS and I believe strongly that your home is America. You deserve a permanent solution. Through Reconciliation or other means, the time is now for Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship.”
- DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: “I urge Congress to act swiftly to enact legislation through the reconciliation process to provide permanent protection that the American people want and Dreamers have earned.”
- Senator Dick Durbin: “Congress will act to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers. It’s morally responsible. It will grow our economy. And it’s time for my Republican colleagues to step up or step aside. #HomeIsHere”
- Senator Bob Menendez, “We need to stop relying on temporary immigration fixes. Congress must seize the moment and any and all opportunities to finally provide a pathway to legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants.”
- Democrats – from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) – support including immigration on reconciliation package: On Capitol Hill, leaders in both the House and Senate and members across the ideological spectrum are supportive of including immigration in the budget agreement and finding a way forward this year with a 51-vote vehicle.
- Senator Chris Van Hollen, “This only underscores the urgency with which Congress must act. It’s time to pass the Dream and Promise Act to provide certainty to Dreamers NOW. It would be unconscionable to deport these individuals, who were brought here as children. America is their home too.”
- Sen. Alex Padilla: “Citizenship is essential infrastructure for immigrant families. For many, it’s a gateway to a driver’s license, to health care, to higher education…Creating new paths to citizenship will grow our economy and improve workplaces for all. And that’s exactly the purpose of the infrastructure investments that we are developing.”
- Senator Jacky Rosen, “Yesterday’s judicial decision threatens the rights of Dreamers to live, work, learn, and contribute to their communities right here in the United States, their home. I want to take this moment to reiterate my support for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in our country. It is critical that we immediately pass immigration reform legislation through any means possible, including the budget reconciliation process. We must take action, and I am ready to fight to get this done.”
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal, “Dreamers are Americans and Dreamers are home. This doesn’t change that; it underscores the urgency behind protecting Dreamers. That begins by providing a roadmap to citizenship for essential workers, farmworkers, TPS recipients and Dreamers as part of the reconciliation package.”
- Rep. Jesus Chuy Garcia, “It’s beyond infuriating that the future of DACA recipients is always tied to the next court ruling. People currently under the program and those who qualify for it need a permanent solution NOW. Congress and @POTUS need to provide a pathway to citizenship. It can’t wait.”
- Rep. Adriano Espaillat: “It’s simple: budget reconciliation is the clearest path for immigration reform we’ve had in decades. And 11 million undocumented immigrants are counting on us to seize the opportunity.”