After Negative Advice from Parliamentarian, Democrats Must Pass Citizenship for Millions Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/16/21

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(NATIONWIDE) – After the Senate Parliamentarian issued a third negative advisory opinion on immigration reform provisions in the Build Back Better bill this afternoon, Voces de la Frontera is demanding that President Biden, Vice President Harris and Senate Democrats disregard the Parliamentarian’s advice and pass a permanent pathway to citizenship. Multiple legal and immigrant rights advocates agree that the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian is not binding, and that no precedent would prevent Democrats from disregarding her advisory opinion and moving forward with historic immigration reforms. 

This is the third time the Parliamentarian has advised that immigration reform not be included in the bill. The first two provisions provided a permanent pathway to citizenship, while this third option only provided temporary work permits for immigrants, the majority of whom are essential workers in this pandemic and are critical to keeping our economy running. 

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, issued the following statement: “For the third time, this unelected staff attorney has demonstrated her bias and class privilege by refusing to recognize the humanity of immigrant essential workers and their families and the important economic contributions they are making during this pandemic.  By keeping people in the shadows, immigrant workers are at greater risk of sickness and death while they work in critical industries to feed and care for others. 

The Parliamentarian’s inability to fulfill her role as an impartial interpreter of Senate rules is not surprising given her history working to deport people as a trial attorney handling immigration cases for the U.S. Department of Justice. As we have said all along, Democrats are not bound to follow her advice. They have the power t0 disregard her erroneous and biased opinion and pass a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better reconciliation budget this year. Building back better from the pandemic must include everyone. Democrats were elected based on this promise, a majority of Americans support it, and it’s time to get it done.”

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CONTACT: Anna Dvorak, 414-469-0118, anna@vdlf.org