Gillibrand Commits to Using Budget Reconciliation to Achieve a Pathway to Citizenship

New York, NY—This week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand affirmed her support for deploying any means necessary, including budget reconciliation, to provide a road to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Her statement comes after New York representatives Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Mondaire Jones, Grace Meng, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Nydia Velázquez made the same commitment last month. In addition, a May Ipsos/NPR poll showed that more than two-thirds of Americans support legalization for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers.In January, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) launched an aggressive campaign targeted at critical members of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation, demanding an unequivocal commitment to achieving a pathway to citizenship.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“Senator Gillibrand knows that America can only recover from this pandemic together. Her bold call for legislative action, by any means necessary, indicates the urgent need to secure the safety and futures of millions of hard-working immigrant families who have kept this country functioning in our time of crisis. We have put forward a simple demand to New York’s congressional delegation for months: deliver immigration justice.

“We are thrilled that Senator Gillibrand joined us in this fight and has echoed our demand for citizenship. Now, we are calling on President Biden, New York Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to finish the work we started and deliver a pathway to citizenship for the millions of hard-working families who held this country together during a global pandemic.”


With the Democrats holding a slim 51-50 majority in the U.S. Senate, the parliamentary procedure known as budget reconciliation has emerged as an effective strategy to bypass Republican efforts to filibuster and obstruct President Biden’s agenda. Senate rules dictate that only a 60 vote majority can break a filibuster. However, budget reconciliation is a special process that allows a bill to come up for a vote and pass with a simple majority. Technically, budget reconciliation applies only to legislation that impacts federal spending and revenue. Researchers and experts believe that the significant fiscal impacts of immigration reform would meet budget reconciliation requirements.