Senate Must Deliver Citizenship Pathway, Despite Parliamentarian Ruling

The following statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Washington, D.C., December 17, 2021–The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is deeply disappointed by the latest opinion of the Senate parliamentarian to exclude protections for immigrants in the Build Back Better Act. This latest guidance follows the parliamentarian’s previous advice against the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation package.

Regardless of this opinion, the Senate can and should disregard the parliamentarian’s guidance by moving forward with needed relief for millions of immigrant families. Congress must include a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act.

Immigrants and their families have waited too long for the relief, stability, and security they deserve. There is no building back better without them.

Providing a pathway to citizenship for children and their parents will be critical in supporting the healthy development and long-term success of children and youth in immigrant families. More than 5 million children have a parent who is undocumented or is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and nearly 1 million children are undocumented themselves.

We know that a pathway to citizenship would lift a quarter-of-a-million children out of poverty, provide better access to critical supports, improve school success, increase family stability, and establish freedom from the fear of being separated from their families and community.

Congress must not let this opportunity to act pass by. The time to deliver a pathway to citizenship is now.