New York, NY-Late Tuesday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, which will enact President Joe Biden’s entire social welfare and family aid program. Included in the massive proposal is a pathway to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status recipients, and immigrant essential workers, including hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers. Congressional Democrats committed to using budget reconciliation to pass their plan.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“The Democrats’ infrastructure package recognizes a fundamental fact; immigrant Americans are essential to this country’s recovery. By including a pathway to citizenship in their proposal, our leaders in Washington are starting to deliver on the promises they made to millions of Dreamers, TPS recipients, and immigrant essential workers on the campaign trail. For months, the New York Immigration Coalition pushed Senate Majority Chuck Schumer to recognize that the anti-immigrant fever gripping the Republican Party made budget reconciliation the best path forward to secure immigrant justice. The Majority Leader clearly agrees. But, the Senator is not alone. A majority of Americans across the political spectrum agree it’s time for this country to deliver on its promise of a pathway to citizenship. We thank Senate Majority Leader Schumer and President Joe Biden for fulfilling their commitment to deliver a pathway to citizenship for the millions of hard-working families who held this country together during a global pandemic.”
In January, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) launched an aggressive campaign targeted at key members of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation, demanding an unequivocal commitment to achieving a pathway to citizenship. The NYIC’s work is part of a multi-organizational and national effort spearheaded by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) to transform America’s immigration system.
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.