Immigrants one step closer to pathway to citizenship

On August 11, 2021, Senate Democrats passed the first step towards a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation infrastructure package. The ambitious legislation earmarks $107 billion to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and immigrant essential workers, including hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers.

In order to bypass a Senate Republican filibuster of the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opted to pass the bill via budget reconciliation. A parliamentary procedure, budget reconciliation allows bills that change spending, revenues, and the federal debt limit to pass in the Senate with a simple majority. Legalization is expected to result in $149 billion in GDP and $39 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, according to a recently released report. Now, the spending plan moves to the House of Representatives, which will likely vote on the legislation the week of August 22.

“Today’s vote marked an enormous step forward in our decades-long battle for a pathway to citizenship for millions of hard-working immigrant families,” said, New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Murad Awawdeh. “Essential workers, Dreamers, and TPS holders have been living in limbo for far too long, threatened by court rulings that can throw their lives in turmoil at a moment’s notice and the whims of politicians, who can, with the sweep of a signature on an executive order, rip them from their families and the safety of the only place they have known as home. We thank Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and President Joe Biden for heeding the will of American voters and doing the smart thing to hasten America’s economic recovery. But the fight is far from finished. Congress must now pass the final budget reconciliation package that includes a path to citizenship for essential workers and others. It’s what Americans want and need to rebuild their communities and secure a future for their families.”

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