What the House’s passage of the $3.5 trillion budget bill means for immigrants
The bill includes $107 billion to provide legal permanent status for undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients and TPS holders.
On Tuesday, Aug. 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget resolution that includes a pathway to citizenship for eligible immigrants. Earlier in the month, the Senate passed the foundation for the budget plan, and Tuesday’s bill passage creates a blueprint for what the final $3.5 trillion reconciliation package could look like.
The resolution issues $107 billion to provide legal permanent status to undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.
GREAT NEWS: The House has passed a $3.5T budget resolution, that offers historic investments in
A pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS Holders, farmworkers & essential workers!https://t.co/iI7bORgwG4
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) August 24, 2021
President Joe Biden included an eight-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented individuals as part of his immigration agenda, which he unveiled in February, but that bill is currently stalled in Congress.
Congresswoman Marie Newman tweeted in support of the resolution, affirming the dignity of immigrants and their right to be legally recognized as Americans.
“We are one step closer to FINALLY creating a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrant families. They are doctors, teachers, farmers and essential workers that have built their lives over decades. They are as American as anyone,” Newman wrote.
Latino and immigrant advocacy groups have also praised the House’s passage of the budget reconciliation, reiterating how essential the immigrant population is to this nation.
JUST IN: The House of Representatives approved the 2021 Budget Resolution which includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, undocumented farmworkers, and other essential workers. This is HUGE. (THREAD) pic.twitter.com/RNIzafncGV
— Families Belong Together (@fams2gether) August 24, 2021
"It is my hope that Congress will be on the right side of history by supporting the millions of immigrants they represent. Their ‘yes’ vote has the power to achieve a pathway to citizenship for countless children & families, including essential workers,” said Paola Luisi, Director of Families Belong Together.
The momentum for a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, TPS holders, and the millions of essential workers who kept the country afloat throughout the pandemic, has been building for a long time.
While there is no simple solution, immigration reform is imperative for many reasons, particularly in economic terms.
If Congress approves the pathway to citizenship, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by a cumulative $1.5 trillion over the next decade, creating more than 400,000 new jobs and raising wages for all workers, according to a study by the Center for American Progress and the University of California Davis’ Global Migration Center.
Undocumented immigrants have always played a major role in boosting the U.S. economy, and this was seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, as nearly three in four undocumented immigrants served as “essential workers.”
— Fair Immigration Reform Movement (@Re4mImmigration) August 23, 2021
This is an estimated 5 million individuals who sacrificed their health to serve their communities as health-care workers, first responders, farmworkers, school janitors, home health and personal aides, and more.
Despite having broad public support, bipartisan efforts at reform and a pathway to legal permanent residency have repeatedly failed, often due to congressional Republican obstinance.
It’s been more than 30 years since Congress last passed impactful immigration reforms, but Democratic lawmakers now have a change to use the budget reconciliation process to enact these long overdue protections for undocumented immigrants and their families.
The House of Representatives voted to pass the $3.5 trillion budget resolution - which includes over $100 billion to support a pathway to citizenship for millions!
This is our win. Our movement. Our people. Undocumented folks organizing made this happen!
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) August 24, 2021
With the inclusion of immigrant-related provisions in the Build Back Better reconciliation package, Senate Democrats have a feasible avenue to finally grant a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and undocumented essential workers.
In the wake of the recent negative court rulings against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congress is confronted with a growing urgency to implement permanent protections for the nation’s Dreamers.
In a statement, Nathalie Rayes, president and CEO of Latino Victory Project said that the House’s budget passage on Tuesday is an important step in advancing Biden’s agenda for working families and all Americans.
“Latino Victory commends the House of Representatives for passing a budget resolution that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth, farmworkers, and essential workers—and that advances the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a critical legislation to protect every American’s right to vote and our democracy,” Rayes said.