RAICES Demands Vice President Harris Ignore the Parliamentarian on Immigration

San Antonio, TX – Last month, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough recommended that the legalization portion of the reconciliation package, which includes a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and Essential Workers should not be included in the budget bill, despite the clear impact that citizenship for millions would have on revenue and spending. Since then, Democrats in congress have wavered on their promise, using this misguided recommendation as a crutch to avoid expanding paths to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

The Parliamentarian is supposed to be the nonpartisan referee of the Senate’s rules, but MacDonough is not an impartial voice on the issue of immigration. Before becoming the Senate Parliamentarian, MacDonough worked as a trial attorney handling immigration cases for the U.S. Department of Justice. As someone who has worked to deport people, she cannot be trusted to rule objectively on immigration issues.

Undocumented people in this country have lived through many broken promises on immigration. Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and the Dream Act have failed in Congress time and time again, even when Democrats had the majority. Many people will continue to suffer if there is no action. The only way forward is for Vice President Harris to ignore the Parliamentarian’s recommendations and include legalization as part of the budget reconciliation package.

Millions of immigrants in this country have lived in the shadows for too long. They’ve contributed heavily to our communities, especially during the pandemic, but many of them are still targeted by ICE, detained and deported. It is time to end the mass deportation and incarceration machine that punishes and separates immigrants from loved ones, just for wanting to put food on the table for their families. It is time for Vice President Harris to step up and lead.

We urge Vice President Harris to keep the promise and use every tool at her disposal to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented families in the budget reconciliation package. Ensuring Dreamers, TPS holders, and the Essential Workers who kept our nation afloat during this COVID-19 crisis can stay in their communities without fear of deportation must be a top priority. We will not settle for anything less.

Jessica Ortiz
[email protected]