RAICES vows to hold Democrats accountable to keep their promises to immigrant community
“No more political games and excuses. The time is now for Democrats to expand permanent protections for millions of immigrants.”
San Antonio, TX – Ahead of the anticipated vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the budget reconciliation package, or the ‘Build Back Better’ plan, RAICES released the following statement from Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer regarding the package’s immigration provisions:
“Our message to Democrats and President Biden is, JUST GET IT DONE. Undocumented immigrants deserve the ability to legally work and live free from fear in this country,” said Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer for RAICES. Andiola continued, “As an organization that represents and serves thousands of immigrants in Texas and across the country, we have seen first hand the challenges our clients and community members face without the ability to legally work and live free in this country. We will continue to fight for citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented people in this country. However, if at the end of the day we don’t have enough political leverage to get everything that we want, we will not get in the way of legislation that protects some members of our community.”
Andiola added, “We do want to make it clear that we will refuse to accept any bill that pits immigrants against immigrants by criminalizing some at the expense of others, any bill that includes immigration provisions but increases enforcement, detention, and deportations and any bill that further marginalizes, or harms the immigrant community.”
Andiola made it clear, “We’ve said it before, but it’s a point worth repeating: Democrats need to use all the tools at their disposal to deliver on their promises to immigrants. Democrats still have a chance to pass a legalization provision through the Build Back Better proposal if they move in lockstep and prioritize the safety of our communities. They can also abolish the filibuster to pass legislation that would expand permanent protections for immigrants. And President Biden has the power to use executive action to protect our communities across the country.”
Andiola concluded, “No more political games and excuses. The time is now for Democrats to expand permanent protections for millions of immigrants.” RAICES unwaveringly believes that after decades of broken promises, undocumented immigrants deserve a path to citizenship immediately, and nothing less. The immigrant community deserves the freedom to work with dignity, respect, and freedom from detention instead of living in a state of constant fear.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Learn more at raicestexas.org.