Immigrants Need Real Protections Through Build Back Better, Not Temporary Half Measures

November 19, 2021
Press Release
  • Immigration Reform
  • Legal Services

Denver CO-  On November 19, 2020 the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, and it is now up to the Senate to act on this legislation. While the reconciliation bill contains many important and badly needed provisions that will help countless American families including immigrant families, the bill’s current language to address immigration policy falls far short of what our communities need. Parole in place or Plan C would grant temporary relief to some immigrants while millions are left out, and it would provide a pathway to citizenship to no one.

“Immigrants have waited years, even decades for meaningful reform and they are tired of waiting. They have watched their communities be torn apart as family members, neighbors, and friends have been exploited, targeted, and deported because of their immigration status,” said Erik Garcia, Director of Organizing at the Colorado Rights Coalition (CIRC), “The only true protection from this is citizenship and anything short of that is unacceptable. The Senate must amend this bill to include a full path to citizenship, with or without the approval of the parliamentarian. Half measures will not cut it.”

 Parole in place, if passed by the Senate as it currently stands in the bill, would provide an opportunity for immigrants who have lived continuously in the United States since 2011 to apply for work permits and potentially travel abroad. However, these permits would only last a maximum of 10 years.

“Millions of undocumented immigrant workers including 5 million undocumented essential workers contribute each day to our economy and communities. They have worked and paid taxes like other Americans even as they carried the country through the pandemic. They don’t need temporary work permits. They need to be recognized as the Americans they already are with full citizenship. How much longer will we deny immigrants this?” added Erik Garcia.