Pathways and the Senate Parliamentarian

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Congressional leadership has its work specified, immigrant communities are asking leadership to secure needed pathways, and to use every available option to get it done this year. UUSJ is looking to its allies and listening for how we can be of assistance and service in this effort.

The Parliamentarian’s finding against the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people, for TPS recipients, for farmworkers, and essential workers, in the federal budget reconciliation package speaks to the longstanding interlocking injustices immigrants face in our country. Such injustice presents as attitudes as well as institutional inclinations, and the Parliamentarian’s advisory is working on both these wavelengths.

Both chambers of Congress included pathways in their budget proposals. Both chambers crafted proposals with the Byrd rule in mind. Immigration policy is a budgetary matter with economic implications, as well as a profound moral dimension. But somehow, the obvious truth has yet to prevail. The Parliamentarian makes recommendations to Congress and works at the discretion of congressional leadership, in particular the Majority Leader, in this case. In effect, Senate Democrats, President Biden, and Vice President Harris have the power to deliver justice for immigrants, if they are willing to use every means available to secure citizenship for our immigrant brothers, sisters, and community neighbors.

Immigration partners are discussing the next steps in their journey out of the shadows — they might be delayed, but will not be defeated. UUSJ is committed to doing its part. The Immigration Action Team is listening to partners, impacted community moral owners, and discussing actionable steps.

We will let you know more as we learn more.

Pablo DeJesus

Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice