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The Momentum is Building for an Immigration Breakthrough: Leading Democrats Supportive and Confident

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Washington, DC – Momentum is building for an immigration breakthrough this year. Leading Democrats – from across the party – are publicly supporting the inclusion of pathways to citizenship in the budget agreement and its chances of success this year.

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki: During a Q&A during yesterday’s press briefing (see video here), Jen Psaki reiterated that immigration legislation is a White House priority and noted White House openness to any mechanism to deliver immigration reform, including through reconciliation.  
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): As The Hill reported, when asked his opinion on the immigration provisions in the budget agreement, Manchin replied, “I’m fine. I’m a 2013 immigration supporter. You can look at the 2013 bill and I thought that was a great bill.” As The Hill noted, “As the most conservative Senate Democrat, Manchin’s support is critical to inclusion of any provision that ends up in the reconciliation bill.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee in Politico: “Let me be clear — this is a huge bill. This is a complicated bill. This is a transformative bill.”
  • Senator Alex Padilla: “Immigrants are an essential part of our nation’s infrastructure. I’m keeping up the fight to provide them with the pathway to citizenship that they have earned.”
  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): “TPS families deserve stability with a path to citizenship. I joined @CASAforall & @SenAlexPadilla tonight to discuss immigration reform & will continue pushing for a pathway to citizenship for these folks.”
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus: “Thanks to the @USProgressives Caucus, @SenSanders, and organizers on the outside, ALL 5 of the priorities that we laid out will be included in some way in the upcoming budget package. That’s $$ for: climate; housing; prescription drugs; the care economy; immigration.”
  • Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: “We have a very strong argument to make that it is relevant and would fit within the rules of the budget reconciliation process.” 
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY): “We will have a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D. We’re not just sticking to one scope of how many folks would be impacted. We’ll try to include as many folks as possible.”

As a reminder, citizenship legislation will produce substantial economic and fiscal benefits for America. 

  • Recent analysis from the Center for American Progress summarizes why delivering citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and farm workers and other essential workers, “would result in big economic benefits for all Americans — and it can and should be done through the budget reconciliation process.” The CAP analysis finds that a pathway to citizenship for these groups “would add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to U.S. GDP over a decade and create just more than 400,000 new jobs. By the end of a decade after passage, all Americans would see higher wages by an annual $600.”

Maribel Hastings and David Torres from America’s Voice en Español penned a column titled, “Budget reconciliation would bring hope to some undocumented immigrants:” They write: “This would be a great opportunity to, once and for all, reconcile various realities: that undocumented immigrants already hold up the economy and legalizing them would be an even bigger national economic boon. And that despite the fact that Republican politicians exploit the topic, leaving out the true benefits of legalization, the American people, Democratic and Republican, according to various surveys, support a path to citizenship. They see it more pragmatically than politically.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “I am heartened by the growing momentum for immigration legalization and a path to citizenship. These are common sense steps overwhelmingly supported by the American people that will move the country forward and fulfill a debt of gratitude for all those immigrants who are our friends and neighbors and work hard on behalf of America every day.”