tags: Press Releases

Seattle Times Editorial: “Ignore Senate Parliamentarian on Immigration Reform”

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“Democrats made a promise. They need to deliver.”

Washington, DC – A new editorial in the Seattle Times,Ignore Senate parliamentarian on immigration reform,” calls on the Democratic majority to use their power to deliver an immigration breakthrough and not to use the initial ruling of the unelected Senate parliamentarian as an excuse for inaction. The editorial, citing the economic, moral, and political case for delivering on immigration, states “It shouldn’t be hard to make the right call.” The editorial is excerpted below with the full version available online here.

“Senate Democrats face a stark choice on immigration: improve the lives of millions of immigrants by giving them a path to legal residency — a move that would also prove a boon to the nation’s economy — or hide behind a procedural recommendation and expose their rhetoric as empty promises.

… the parliamentarian’s decision is only advice, an interpretation by the nonpartisan referee of the Senate’s rules, and it can be ignored or overturned. Left with no other choice, the Senate Democratic majority must do just that.

Dismissing that advice is not a decision to be made lightly, of course, but it has happened before — most recently when Republicans removed the 60-vote threshold for voting on Supreme Court nominees when they controlled the chamber. Immigration reform is worth the risk. 

…The current proposal is the best chance to enact change, as the 2022 midterm elections threaten Democratic control of Congress. Regardless that polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, Congress has repeatedly failed to act.

… it’s up to Democrats to stick to the courage of their convictions and take a stand. The parliamentarian is not an elected official, they are. Democrats made a promise. They need to deliver.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Democrats need to keep their promise to deliver on citizenship – whether through or around the Senate parliamentarian. Across party lines and across the country, Americans support citizenship, and the multiracial majority that elected Democrats is not going to accept a staff attorney’s inaccurate ruling as the reason it can’t pass.