Congressional Democrats’ New Reconciliation Proposal Could Create A Pathway To Citizenship for Millions
The new budget package would allow thousands of undocumented Coloradans to apply for residency and eventually citizenship
Denver, CO – This week, Democratic lawmakers in Congress reached a final deal on a budget reconciliation package. Their proposal includes ample funding to potentially put millions of undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship, including thousands in Colorado.
“Our communities have waited for decades for this, and they cannot wait any longer. Congress must seize this opportunity to act,” said Lisa Durán, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
With this week’s proposal, Democratic leadership is aiming to fund a path to citizenship for immigrants with TPS and DACA status as well as undocumented agricultural and essential workers –– up to 10 million people in total, according to estimates by The Hill [source].
“We are thrilled that essential and agricultural workers have been included in this proposal,” said Durán. “Essential workers have been there for all of us; now it’s time for us to be there for them and recognize them as the Americans they are.”
Facing a Republican filibuster in the Senate, the budget reconciliation process has become one of the only viable options for immigration reform. Any immigration legislation would need the support of at least 60 senators to override a potential bill-killing filibuster, and, while Democratic lawmakers in the Senate have expressed support for sweeping immigration reform, Republicans have not.
“While xenophobic politicians continue to stand against the will of the majority of the American people who support immigration reform, Democratic leadership have taken it upon themselves to fight for justice for their immigrant friends, family, and neighbors. The reconciliation process is the only way to ensure that millions of families no longer risk separation because of their immigration status. Democratic leaders must do everything in their power to ensure that this proposal passes with immigration reform included,” said Erik Garcia, Organizing Director at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “We call on Senators Hickenlooper and Bennett to champion this fight in the Senate. They must ensure that this reconciliation proposal passes so that undocumented Coloradans finally get the justice they need and deserve.”
While the proposal could cover millions of undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship, García is quick to note that millions more will not be included and will remain in legal limbo.
“Passing this budget reconciliation will be an enormous step towards a more just immigration system, but it is by no means the final one. We will fight for full immigration justice –– including the safety of citizenship for all those not covered by this reconciliation –– today, tomorrow, and as long as it takes.” said Garcia.