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With New Setback, Now is the Time for Congress to Say Yes to Citizenship


WASHINGTON –  Tonight, the Senate Parliamentarian issued a third opinion that the U.S. Congress cannot include immigration provisions in the budget reconciliation package that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to millions of undocumented people yearning to be recognized as full legal citizens of the United States. The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a multi-ethnic coalition of the nation’s largest state-level immigrant advocacy organizations, urges Congress to say yes to citizenship regardless of any parliamentarian opinion, while highlighting that immigrant and refugee serving organizations stand ready to implement any legalization legislation. 

“Despite the parliamentarian’s opinion against protections for undocumented immigrants, Congress has the authority and responsibility to create a 21st century immigration system that recognizes that undocumented immigrants have been essential and deserve a pathway to become citizens,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA. “Now is the time for Congress to take action, fulfill their promises to their constituents and our communities, and ensure that undocumented immigrants can take part in the prosperity they helped create for our nation by providing a pathway to citizenship.”

“Today’s opinion from an unelected parliamentarian does not change the fact that Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress,” said Diego Iñiguez-López, policy and campaigns manager for NPNA. “Democrats have political control and the legal authority to create a road to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants as part of the Build Back Better package and must show bold and visionary leadership to deliver on their promises.”