Leading Democrats this week spoke out on the urgent need to move forward with pathways to citizenship as a priority.
President Biden, First Lady Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Manchin called for action and solutions while Republicans sensationalize and politicize our immigration challenges.
Democrats are clear. The time has come to go big and get things done that change lives. The 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in America are our neighbors and family members who have lived, worked and contributed to local communities for years and decades.
- President Joe Biden: In a presidential video address to celebrate César Chávez Day Wednesday, President Biden reiterated his commitment to, “continue fighting for the rights, health, and dignity of farmworkers. My administration will always stand with hardworking people who carry this nation on their backs. That’s why I support the bipartisan Farm Workers Modernization Act, recently passed the House of Representatives. That’s why I support a path to citizenship for undocumented farm workers and young people who stepped up during this crisis to keep food on our kitchen tables, millions of tables, and to serve on our frontlines … Let’s come together and summon the moral courage of César Chávez to broaden our ambitions, to include the needs of all working people, for all our sakes, for the sake of the nation.”
- First Lady Jill Biden: On a trip to California for César Chávez Day, First Lady Jill Biden stated: “We depended on those who kept going to work every single day. Without the farmworkers who kept harvesting our food, or the factory workers who packaged it, the grocery store clerks who stocked shelves, no one would have made it through this year … As president, Joe is fighting for people who often go unseen. And that’s exactly the kind of immigration policy he’s working to build — one that treats children and families with dignity and creates fair pathways to citizenship, including for essential workers.”
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): As Politico’s Huddle tipsheet reported yesterday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made clear she is eyeing a reconciliation package as a way forward on delivering immigration reform. As Politico wrote, “Democrats were considering adding immigration-related measures to the next reconciliation bill, though the Senate parliamentarian, whom Pelosi referred to as the ‘Byrd lady,’ would make the final decision. Asked about the status of immigration legislation, Pelosi said a comprehensive plan could face headwinds in the Senate because of the still-intact filibuster, but Democrats ‘can make a case about the budget implications of immigration’ to the parliamentarian, she said.”
- Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV): As The Hill reported, Senator Manchin spoke after touring the border and used the occasion to emphasize his support for immigration reform and solutions that include citizenship: “It is beyond time, past time, to do immigration reform. Immigration reform should be a pathway to citizenship … We have children that came here that have no other home but America. There should be a pathway for that, for our dreamers.”
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:
Democrats are intent to use their majority to take action and deliver on real solutions. Undocumented immigrants are friends, neighbors and family members who are already part of the fabric of American life. While Republicans prioritize politics, cheap stunts and scare tactics, Democrats are making clear their intentions to go big, solve problems, and deliver real solutions.
Read Frank Sharry’s Medium piece, The Challenges at our Southern Border Cry Out for Durable Solutions.