Border Advocates Disappointed But Not Defeated by Senate Parliamentarian’s Rejection of Pathway to Citizenship via Reconciliation

On September 19, the Senate Parliamentarian issued a decision rejecting Congressional Democrats’ inclusion of a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation proposal, which would have benefitted millions of immigrants, including Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, essential workers, and farmworkers. The following is a statement from Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), on the decision and the road ahead:

“While we are extremely disappointed by the Senate Parliamentarian’s decision to reject a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship for an estimated 8 million immigrants in the United States, we are not defeated. Despite this misguided decision that ignores the estimated $1.5 trillion in economic growth this proposal would have generated over 10 year, BNHR firmly believes that this is the year we will achieve inclusive immigration reform – not only because it is the right thing to do, but because the future of our workforce, communities, and economy depend on it.

Reconciliation is not the only vehicle to realizing our goals. We call on the Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress to fulfill their promise and use their majority to advance alternatives beyond reconciliation to pass immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. , the reunification of families, law enforcement accountability at the border and beyond, and the demilitarization of the border region.

As a community-led grassroots organization, BNHR will continue pushing for a pathway to citizenship for our undocumented colleagues, friends, family, and community members, and holding our elected officials accountable to us, the voters and constituents they are charged with representing. In order to ensure our voices are heard and our representatives are held accountable, BNHR will be launching a series of upcoming national actions calling for the passage of immigration reform measures before the end of 2021, the dates and details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Immigration reform is not a choice, it is a necessity. It is well past time that our elected officials treat is as such.”

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