FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 1, 2021
Nine Progressive Organizations Join Forces To Say: Our Country Can’t Build Back Better If We Leave Immigrants Behind; Democrats Can and Must Deliver Citizenship Through Reconciliation
“Voters risked [their] lives and showed up in record numbers in multiple states, including twice in Georgia, to vote for a White House and Congress that would advance our interests, NOT to vote for a parliamentarian.”
Washington, D.C. - United We Dream Action, Black Voters Matter, The Frontline, Indivisible, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), Make The Road New York, MoveOn, the Sunrise Movement, and the Working Families Party have come together again - following their full-page ad in the New York Times reminding Democrats that they hold all the power to deliver citizenship this year - to respond to yesterday’s news from the parliamentarian.
For these organizations and their millions of members, citizenship for millions of immigrants is a top priority because we cannot fully recover as a country from COVID-19 and four years of Trump’s white supremacist immigration policies without including immigrants as part of that recovery.
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream Action, said:
“Our lives are at stake. Keeping millions of people from a pathway to citizenship means leaving them behind under the looming threat of deportation, denying them health care, better wages, employment, and educational opportunities, and other basic human rights. We know what the right choice is and from the beginning, Democrats made us a promise that they would be the better party for Black, Brown, low-income and middle-class people. They can and must deliver on that promise by ensuring that citizenship stays in the reconciliation package. We are holding them solely accountable.”
Alejandra Gomez, Co-Executive Director of Living United for Change in Arizona, said:
"Yesterday’s news that the Parliamentarian has rejected Plan B is incredibly disappointing, but our fight to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship continues. Folks should be reminded that the Senate Parliamentarian is an unelected official standing in the way of immigration reform that is 30 years overdue. Our communities led the way in 2020 to give Democrats control of Congress and the White House, our expectation is that Democrats must continue pursuing other alternatives to pass a pathway to citizenship. Too many of our family members, coworkers, and friends are living in limbo, and in the shadows fearing deportation. While still risking their lives during a deadly pandemic to keep our country moving forward. We need Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly to champion a clear path forward and not hide behind the parliamentarian. "
Yaritza Mendez, Co-Director of Organizing at Make the Road New York, said:
“We are frankly outraged by the Senate parliamentarian’s most recent opinion—which is just that, an opinion. Despite strong precedent for including such immigration measures in the reconciliation process, she has indefensibly allowed her bias to guide her to recommend excluding citizenship for immigrants from this package. Senator Schumer and Senate Democrats must proceed as planned to ensure a path to citizenship—which will benefit the economy as well as our communities—part of this package. We know they are not bound to follow this unacceptable opinion.”
Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of Sunrise Movement, said:
“The reality is Democrats have full power and ability to pass citizenship through reconciliation, and this made-up, non-binding Senate rule does not stop it from passing. We’ve been calling for ‘No Climate, No Deal’ in the reconciliation process. But there is no climate justice without migrant justice. When we say ‘no climate, no deal,’ we mean ‘no protection for Dreamers, TPS status, and farm and essential workers, no deal.’ We mean no citizenship, no deal.”
Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, said:
“Black voters risked our lives and showed up in record numbers in multiple states, including twice in Georgia, to vote for a White House and Congress that would advance our interests, NOT to vote for a parliamentarian. And yes, our interests include immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship. Black immigrants exist. In fact, they as well as other immigrants were many of the essential workers who continued to show up for this country when it was needed. Now Congress must show up for them.”
Natalia Salgado, Federal Affairs Director and Treasurer of Working Families Party National PAC said:
“Immigrants have been the backbone of this country since its inception, now is not the time to turn our backs on our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. We cannot afford to wait any longer for comprehensive immigration reform, especially not based on what an unelected parliamentarian says. Lawmakers must act now to provide a pathway to citizenship for the millions in our country living under the threat of deportation and family separation.”
Tiffany Flowers, Campaign Director of The Frontline:
"Many Black and Brown immigrant workers risked their health on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot thank them by cutting them out of the conversation about our nation's recovery. Democrats in Congress must go bold, stay on track to deliver what they promised: a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package. Failure to do so will result in the same consequences of the past: an uneven recovery that leaves too many of us behind."
Mary Small, National Advocacy Director of Indivisible, said:
“Senate Democrats must reaffirm their full-throated support for a pathway to full citizenship. Many of those seeking a path to citizenship risked their lives to keep communities across the country alive by performing essential services during a deadly pandemic. Any efforts to create an inclusive economic recovery must recognize their contributions and ongoing membership in our communities. Senate Democrats have an opportunity and undeniable obligation to pass a reconciliation bill that includes citizenship.”
Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn, said:
“Unelected parliamentarians should not be able to overrule the will of the people nor decide the fate of 8 million people. Democrats ran on and won on reforming the immigration system and providing a path to citizenship. This legislation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for them to live up to their promises. They cannot let arcane Senate norms get in the way. This is not a time for politics as usual or half measures.”