Legislation passed by House Democrats as part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending bill doesn’t include a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, a move Nevada Democratic Reps. Dina Titus and Steven Horsford criticized in a letter.
The letter, signed by several Democratic House members, was sent to Senate leadership Monday urging that chamber to reinsert a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers in the reconciliation bill.
While the bill would carve out a temporary parole option — essentially a work permit — which would protect close to 7 million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country since at least since Jan. 1, 2011 from deportation for up to 10 years, it falls short of of what many advocates want.
In their letter, the House Democrats criticized the parole option as “yet another form of temporary reprieve,” and asked the Senate to add a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the reconciliation bill.
“Whether we keep our promises or not is a question of political will,” reads the letter.
They also renewed earlier calls to disregard Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber’s adviser, who shot down two previous proposals to include a path to citizenship in the bill. MacDonough ruled the proposals fell outside the boundaries of what can be done through budget reconciliation, a process that allows a simple majority to pass a bill instead of having to meet the usual 60-vote threshold.
“We cannot let an unelected official advisor determine which promises we fulfill and which we do not, especially when the vast majority of Americans- in both parties- want us to provide a pathway to citizenship.”
(This story was updated to reflect both Titus and Horsford signed on to the letter).
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