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“This is a helluva way to run a democracy”

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America’s Voice responds to the parliamentarian’s opinion

Washington, DC – The following is from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the Senate parliamentarian’s advisory opinion on immigration reform.

“This is a helluva way to run a democracy. An unelected staff attorney in a supposedly non-political role makes yet another political decision to thwart the freedom and futures of millions of undocumented immigrants. And the reason she’s even in the picture is that Democrats are trying to enact their agenda through budget reconciliation bills rather than do what they must to rescue our democracy – which is to end the filibuster. 

Ultimately, though, this is not about the parliamentarian or process. This is about Democratic promises to win a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. This is about whether President Biden and Senate Democrats will bring forth the political will needed to achieve a breakthrough. This is about a path to citizenship for millions that enjoys 70% support from the American people, including majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans. This is about undocumented immigrants in America who give their lives for a nation that turns its back on them.  

In contrast to Republicans who rely on rank xenophobia and Democrats who rely on election-year promises, immigrants are the ones that keep delivering for America. It is unacceptable and unconscionable that a nation that depends on the courage, contributions and hard work of undocumented immigrants has not found a way to enable them to live and work here legally without fear of deportation. It is embarrassing and disgraceful that Congress has yet to formally and fully recognize 11 million undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are. 

What’s next? Disregard the parliamentarian’s advisory opinion? We’re for it. Develop other tactics and options to produce a breakthrough? We’re open to hearing them. But the onus is on Democrats to use their majority to keep their promise. We are not interested in excuses, we are interested in results.”