Unions, activists want Dems to fight back on immigrants’ behalf Credit: (Photo courtesy of JanaShea via iStock

Immigration advocates received a lump of coal for Christmas when the Senate parliamentarian ruled against including the House-approved immigration provisions in the Senate’s version of the $2 trillion “Build Back Better” bill. It’s the third time it’s been rejected.

“It’s now abundantly clear that we are dealing with a biased, unelected Senate staff attorney who is hostile to our communities and whose opinion should be ignored,” said Make The Road, an immigrant organizing group. “Democrats have the power to fulfill their promise of citizenship to millions of TPS and DACA holders, and essential workers who are the backbone of the country’s economy, regardless of this non-binding advisory opinion. For years, immigrant communities have relentlessly fought for permanent protections; their livelihoods and those of their loved ones depend on it.”

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough specifically ruled against the part of the Democrats’ bill that would grant temporary immigration parole without a path to citizenship that would have affected 6.5 million. Before that, she rejected the Democrats’ plans to help provide citizenship to immigrants

The Senate parliamentarian is the equivalent of a referee ruling for and against policies due to a variety of issues.
According to political pundits, the Republicans could take over the House in the 2022 midterms. There’s also a chance that they’d take over the Senate as well. While there won’t be a vote on the Build Back Better bill in 2020, that won’t stop activists, and unions, from letting their voice be heard.

32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg is on the side of immigrants calling on Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian and throw it back into the Build Back Better bill.

“The parliamentarian’s rejection of immigration relief in the Build Back Better bill is completely unacceptable,” said Bragg. “Senate Democrats must overrule the non-binding opinion of this unelected official and reinstate a pathway to citizenship in the bill. Immigrants without permanent status have paid a disproportionately high price in this pandemic, and as we enter yet another phase of the global crisis, their full inclusion is vital to heal our economy and millions of communities and families.

“Since Senate Republicans remain committed to their bigoted anti-immigrant agenda, it is now the duty of all Democrats to unify behind their moral conscience and the will of the majority of American voters, and create a pathway to citizenship in Build Back Better,” continued Bragg. “Let’s seize this moment to make our nation whole.”

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