Advocates Protest Watered Down Immigration in Build Back Better as an Unacceptable Temporary Stopgap

New York, NY-Today, House Democrats passed the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better reconciliation package. The spending plan includes immigration provisions that would grant temporary and time-limited immigration and work benefits to immigrants who entered the country before 2011 but would not provide any roadmap to citizenship. The New York Immigration Coalition immediately joined national partners in calling for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to include a roadmap to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the Senate’s version of the package.

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“This is yet another blow to immigrant communities, who need and deserve more than the temporary solutions and half-measures offered by House Democrats. It’s time for Senate Majority Leader Schumer to use his power and deliver on the promises he and President Biden made to immigrant communities. We can’t afford to wait any longer, and we won’t accept the scraps of a makeshift stopgap as a solution because we know all too well the human costs of deferring a real, lasting, and permanent solution. Senate Majority Leader Schumer has the power to build a better vision of our country and secure a true recovery. It’s time he and the Democratic caucus listened to the majority of the American people who support a roadmap to citizenship and ensure stability, safety, and opportunity for all of us who call America home.”


Last week, the New York Immigration Coalition joined several immigrant rights advocates for a 11-mile march from Manhattan to Brooklyn to highlight the need for a pathway to citizenship. Over the past few months, NYIC has launched a video ad; immigrant New Yorkers held an evening vigil in front of Senator Schumer’s Brooklyn home; a rally in front of his Manhattan office; a 4-day #NoSleepTilCitizenship sleep-out in front of the Senator’s Brooklyn home and rallied in Long Island to keep up the pressure for a pathway to citizenship to be included in the final budget reconciliation package. 

A few weeks before the inauguration of President Biden, NYIC launched an aggressive campaign targeted at key members of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation, demanding an unequivocal commitment to achieving a pathway to citizenship. NYIC’s work is part of a multi-organizational and national effort spearheaded by FIRM to transform America’s immigration system. A recent Data for Progress poll revealed a clear majority of Americans, 67%, support legalization for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers. An report outlined that legalization would provide $149 billion in GDP and $39 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.