Democrats “must fulfill, without excuses, their promises” to obtain the approval of immigration reform or, otherwise, they will be held accountable in the elections to millions of voters, groups that advocate for the legalization of some 11 million voters said Tuesday. undocumented immigrants.
Hopes for immigration reform now hang with the Senate, which is considering a $ 3.5 trillion budget bill in which they want to include a process for permanent residency, and eventually, citizenship for millions of foreigners.
The process in the Senate is blocked by the differences between the Democrats themselves about the amount of the budget, and the inclusion of this immigration reform in the bill is blocked by a regulatory decision in the Upper House.
“We are on the verge of giving relief to millions of people,” Greisa Martínez Rosas, director of the group of “dreamers” United We Dream Action , said in a teleconference . “It is something that has not happened in three decades, and it is the result of the mobilization and unwavering energy of immigrants.”
“If the Democrats do not comply, they will leave millions of people vulnerable to arrest and deportation,” he added. “We will not take ‘no’ for an answer. The Democrats are in charge, no one else is, and they are responsible for keeping their promises, with no further excuses . “
During the 2020 election campaign, immigrant advocacy groups mobilized hundreds of thousands of activists, including undocumented migrants who are unable to vote, in support of the candidacy of Democrat Joe Biden and Democratic candidates at the state, county and city levels. .
The activists maintain that the Democrats have means in the Senate to circumvent the decision of the “parliamentarian” , Elizabeth MacDonough, who has twice rejected the arguments of the Democrats to include the immigration issue in the budget law.
Early in his tenure, Biden proposed a comprehensive reform of the immigration system and a process that would gradually grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants, but the idea did not get much support in Congress.
The Democrats then initiated proposals to address the situation of different groups, such as those protected from deportation in the Deferred Action program (DACA), beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, undocumented workers who work in the field and those declared ” essential “ in the pandemic.
A Democratic source in Congress said those initiatives would cover at least 8.3 million immigrants.
“We are an unstoppable movement , “ said Lorella Praelli, Co-President of Community Change Action. “Our claim is the ‘green card’ (legal permanent residence), the work permit to live free from the fear of deportation. The Democrats have it in their hands to achieve it . “
“70% of US voters support a path to citizenship (for these undocumented groups),” he added. “If (the Democrats) want the voters to go out to vote this year in the Virginia election, and in the legislative elections next year, keep their promise . “
Gustavo Torres, director of DACA, emphasized that “the Democrats control the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House because we put them there . “
“We mobilized millions of people and we hope that (Democrats) will use every tool at their disposal to obtain citizenship for 11 million people,” he added. “We will not go home empty-handed . “
The Center for American Progress indicated on Tuesday that the third option that the Democrats are analyzing so that the “parliamentarian” agrees to include an immigration reform in the spending plan, a temporary stay permit ( “parole” ), would legalize about 7.1 millions of undocumented and would authorize them to work, although that would not lead to citizenship.
Jess Morales Rocketto, director of Care in Action, said that “this is the year to achieve those goals for millions of people . “
“We are stronger than ever,” he added. “We fought for years against (President Donald) Trump” and we put these people (the Democrats) in the positions they occupy and now we want them to keep their promises . “