Congress is wrestling with the issue of immigration and, not surprisingly, there is a no holds barred air about the proceedings.
The Senate is the more iffy battleground in the eyes of reform proponents but four members of Senate have welcomed deliberations in the House of Representatives aimed assuring a pathway to citizenship for qualifying individuals who are currently illegal/undocumented.
And U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) have released a joint statement on the inclusion of provisions providing a pathway to citizenship in the legislative text of the reconciliation package unveiled by the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee:
“From day one of this Congress, and throughout negotiations over reconciliation, we have had one guiding principle for immigration reform: delivering a pathway to citizenship for as many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants as possible, especially for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers and other essential workers," said the four in their statement.
"We applaud our colleagues in the House of Representatives for not treating immigration like an afterthought and instead acting boldly and unapologetically to include relief for the undocumented in their reconciliation package. To truly build back better, we need to unleash the full potential and economic might of our undocumented community, especially those who kept our economy afloat throughout the pandemic.
“While details are still coming together, the House reconciliation bill’s inclusion of language to create a pathway to citizenship shows a real commitment to protect millions of immigrants and the Senate is now in a stronger position to help get this over the finish line. Immigration reform remains a righteous cause and we cannot let this opportunity pass us by. We will continue to pull every lever to deliver immigration reform to as many undocumented immigrants as possible this year.
“As negotiations continue on specific immigration language, we must continue to advance our shared goal of delivering meaningful, humane immigration reform through the reconciliation process. We cannot let our immigrant communities wait any longer. We have a moral imperative to get this done."
The four said they were strongly urging the Senate and House leadership "to act boldly and continue fighting for the broadest legal protections possible to fully unleash the economic might of the undocumented community."