LULAC Says Blocking Immigration Reform From Budget Deal Is Shortsighted
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls Undocumented Workers’ Path to Citizenship a Benefit to America
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) expressed strong disagreement with an announcement Sunday by the Senate parliamentarian concerning a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Democrats wanted the provision included with the $3.5 trillion budget. However, the ruling by the parliamentarian, reported by Politico, said it was a significant change in immigration policy and disqualified it from the stalled budget talks.
“More than eight million undocumented people in our country are living in limbo, including our essential workers who risked their lives during the pandemic,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “They picked our food, helped deliver healthcare, and kept the country going. Also, some Dreamers were brought here as children, and others received temporary protected status because of the dangerous conditions they fled to seek refuge in the United States. They’re also making our country better, so to say helping them is outside of the scope of the budget is not true and again puts the Latino community on the back burner like we are not important,” adds Garcia.
Democrats say they included the path to citizenship provision in the budget package because the Senate filibuster all but guarantees that opponents will block immigration reform in the Senate. This exclusion leaves the reconciliation process as the only viable option to advance immigration protections for people who have been waiting for years or even decades. However, the parliamentarian ruled that a path to citizenship would open freedoms beyond what can be measured in the budget. These freedoms include “travel, living openly in our society, and being reunited with their families.”
“None of these ‘freedoms’ take away anything from anyone else, so what’s wrong if people who are already here and contributing to making our lives better want to have some of the same basic privileges we all want in life?” asks Garcia. “LULAC urges you to contact your elected officials in Congress and tell them that immigration reform should be on the budget table. Immigrants who pose no threat or burden to our country deserve an opportunity to become citizens if they qualify,” says Garcia.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/