The Democratic leadership in the Senate criticized this Thursday the opposite opinion of Elizabeth MacDonough, the one in charge of interpreting the Upper House regulation, to include immigration protection for millions of undocumented immigrants, and pledged to continue working to alleviate the situation of these foreigners.
“We totally disagree with the Senate MP’s interpretation of our immigration proposal, and we will seek all means to achieve a path to citizenship,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.
Along with him, Democratic senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Dick Durbin, Bob Menéndez, Ben Ray Luján, and Alex Padilla reiterated their opinion that immigration reform would be positive for the country and recalled that polls show that a vast majority of Americans are willing to favor of this measure.
Democrats failed this Friday in their third attempt to include protection for millions of undocumented immigrants in the social spending plan of the president, Joe Biden, in a legislative maneuver that would avoid the Republican blockade in the Senate.
Biden led a comprehensive immigration reform in Congress but his project to give citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants was stalled in the Senate.
Faced with this scenario, they decided to use the “reconciliation” mechanism and include immigration reforms in a budget law, but they found the negative opinion of MacDonough, whose opinion is not binding, but it does carry a lot of weight.
This was the third attempt by the Democrats, who had lowered their claims along the way and now sought to approve at least one Amparo known as “parole” to about 6.5 million, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) , which would allow these migrants to obtain a temporary work and residence permit.
“Throughout the reconciliation process, we have worked to ensure that immigration reform is not treated as an afterthought,” they said after hearing the opinion of the parliamentarian.
But in his letter, to which the CBS network had access, MacDonough considered that these were “substantial changes in policies with lasting effects” and that, like the two previous times, these measures “exceed the budgetary impact.”
These senators’ criticisms were joined by the Democratic representatives Jesús “Chuy” García, Adriano Espaillat, and Lou Correa, who in a joint statement said they were “deeply disappointed”, therefore, in their opinion, and contrary to what the parliamentarian MacDonough thinks. , this immigration reform that “without a doubt has a significant budgetary impact.”
“We cannot allow an unelected bureaucrat to decide the future of our nation’s most vulnerable and hard-working neighbors,” they said.
In this way, they revive the opinion of many Democrats that the vice president, Kamala Harris, should ignore MacDonough’s opinion and put Biden’s plan to a vote with a comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship to 11 million undocumented as part of the “reconciliation” mechanism.
This maneuver allows laws to be passed by a simple majority and not the 60 votes necessary for ordinary laws.
Democrats have 50 seats in the Senate, the same as Republicans, although they have the tiebreaker vote of the vice president, who serves as speaker of the Upper House.
Numerous groups that defend the interests of immigrants joined this request to ignore the opinion of the parliamentarian and move forward.
FWD.us President Todd Schulte called on Democrats “not to take no for an answer,” as they have an “obligation” to take “necessary” steps to protect immigrants.
For the Make The Road group, Democrats maintain their ability to fulfill their promise of citizenship, while Greisa Martinez Rosas, executive director of United We Dream Action, said they will not allow them to “cower” or “make excuses.”
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), reiterated the idea that there can be “no more excuses” and it was “time to fulfill” their promises.
A similar argument to that of Angélica Salas, director of the Coalition for Human Rights of Immigrants (CHIRLA), who described the position of the parliamentarian as “intransigent” and demanded that the Democrats open a path to citizenship without further delay to millions of migrants.