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HIAS Disappointed on Parliamentarian’s Ruling On Immigration Reform in the Build Back Better Legislation

SILVER SPRING, Md. — On December 16, the Senate parliamentarian announced that it is her belief that Senate Democrats’ immigration reform proposal cannot be included in the Build Back Better bill, which includes a number of President Biden’s legislative priorities. In response, HIAS calls on the Senate to proceed despite her opinion and include critically needed protections to immigrant families in the bill.

“We are deeply disappointed by the advisory opinion by the Senate parliamentarian,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ senior vice president for public affairs. “After so much time, something must be done for the millions of immigrants who have made the United States their home for most there is no other home. We put a lot of hope in the parliamentarian because Congress, for decades, has failed to act. The parliamentarian’s recommendation should not be the final say on the inclusion of meaningful immigration reform in the Build Back Better bill. HIAS calls on the Senate to move forward and include the strongest protections possible for undocumented immigrants in the bill.”

The Senate will consider the Build Back Better bill next year. In order to bypass threats to the bill’s passage, Senate Democrats are using a process known as “reconciliation.” Immigration reform has been passed using reconciliation in the past: in 2005, Congress increased the number of green cards using this process.

The Senate Democrats’ immigration reform proposal would provide 10 years of deportation relief and work authorization to an estimated 6.5 million immigrants who have continuously resided in the United States since 2011. This compromise proposal is the third immigration reform provision to be included in the bill. 

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