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Momentum Keeps Building

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President, Democratic leaders come together to fight for citizenship legislation this year on a Democrats-only 51-vote vehicle


Momentum keeps building for pathways to citizenship to be enacted in Congress this year through a Democrats-only 51-vote vehicle. Yesterday, the President and the Vice-President reiterated their commitment to delivering citizenship for millions via reconciliation in a meeting with 11 leading Senate and House Democrats.

  • President Biden: Heading to Marine One following his meeting with 11 key Democrats on immigration, President Biden told reporters of the meeting and way forward: “It went very well – I think we should include in reconciliation the immigration proposal … My staff is putting out a message right now.”
  • President Biden and Vice President Harris in White House official readout of meeting: “President Biden and Vice President Harris expressed their strong support for including immigration reform in upcoming reconciliation legislation to enable Dreamers, TPS recipients, farmworkers and essential workers to gain long-awaited pathways to citizenship.”
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL): “The overwhelming majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, many of whom have risked their lives during this pandemic. But Republicans have repeatedly obstructed bipartisan immigration reform. During yesterday’s meeting, I made clear that I believe the only viable option to meaningful immigration reform is through the reconciliation bill—and I will work day and night to make it a reality.”
  • Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA): “This is a critical moment for the future of immigration reform. The upcoming budget reconciliation process provides us with the best opportunity we’ve had in years to take action.”
  • Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “I’m beginning to realize the Republicans of 2021 are not the same Republicans I worked with in 2013 to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate … To the extent that we can get reconciliation, in getting immigration reform in reconciliation, I’m convinced that it will include at a minimum Dreamers, TPS, farm workers and some category of how we define essential work.”
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV): “For decades, politicians have refused to act to fix our broken immigration system, and this is our opportunity to ensure we are treating workers and families with dignity.”
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Rep. Raul Ruiz: “There will be more collaboration with building the path to get to yes with budget reconciliation … both the Senate and the House working in collaboration … We have a strong case to make why this should be included.”
  • House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY): “Reconciliation is the only option.”
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) after meeting with President Biden: “He agrees that the best path at this point is to try to use reconciliation as a vehicle for moving immigration pieces, and as robust as the votes will bear … Republicans keep changing the goalposts and are not really serious when it comes to trying to find a solution to immigration reform.”

Other signs of Democratic unity and momentum on immigration and reconciliation

  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) earlier endorsed immigration’s inclusion on reconciliation. As The Hill noted, “asked by a reporter how he felt about the immigration provisions in the bill, 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…”
  • Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) endorsed the immigration inclusion on reconciliation per Make the Road NJ, noting: “A pathway to citizenship will make America stronger & more just.”
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, reacting to the cruel DACA decision: “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. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted that she and other House progressives view immigration as a must-include, noting recently that efforts to “strip immigration reform, if they try to claw back on child care, climate action, etc., then we’re at an impasse … It’s a no-go.”

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

The momentum is building. This is because directly-impacted people are leading the fight, our movement is strong, the public is behind us and Democrats are united. 

Democrats are in a position to fulfill promises they have made for years. From across the big tent of the Democratic coalition, up to and including the White House, Democrats are blowing past bad faith Republican, locking arms and moving forward. 

Democrats, the American people are ready. This issue has been litigated in public for decades, and a majority of Democratic, independent and Republican voters have reached a consensus: now is the time for a breakthrough. We’re counting on you to follow their lead.