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A Road to US Citizenship: Should Democrats Just Ignore the Senate’s Parliamentarian?

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Millions of migrant families could get out of precarious living situations and obtain US citizenship if immigration reform is implemented through the Build Back Better bill.

The Build Back Better bill, pushed by the Democratic wing of Congress, has encountered numerous obstacles, but for many immigrants who rely on this package of immigration and social laws to obtain US citizenship, it is time to finally move collectively toward reform.

Hundreds of immigrant advocates plan to join a rally next Saturday in front of the Thompson Center in Chicago, with the goal of pushing forward the immigration, climate, and labor reforms that are projected in the Build Back Better bill. For many immigrants, approval of this project could be life-changing.

And despite the many hurdles immigration reform has faced until now, many are still optimistic about the possibility that the Senate will pass the law before the end of the year. For families and generations of immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for years, but who are systematically denied the possibility of applying for US citizenship, it is a matter of keeping hopes high.

“The momentum is still there because of this decision. We can still push for citizenship, and I feel like it’s been one of those seasons where I can finally see changes in terms of getting something bigger than just DACA, which is temporary, something more reliable like citizenship.”

Commented Luis Rodriguez, one of the many immigrants who met last Friday at the Federal Plaza in the Loop to fight for their rights.

Immigrant advocates fight for immigration reform with the Build Back Better bill

Last week there were also meetings and demonstrations by pro-immigration sectors in Chicago, in which Illinois senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth were urged to ignore the decisions of the Senate’s Parliamentarian. Recently, Elizabeth MacDonough, who fulfills this role, insisted that it was necessary to eliminate the immigration part of the Build Back Better project in order to adhere to the normative of the Senate.

Immigrant advocates, who carried “We’ve Waited Too Much” signs, argue that Durbin and other Democratic leaders should move on. As many Democrats members of Congress also argue, building on the momentum created during the recent period could be vital in paving the way for millions of undocumented immigrants to obtain US citizenship in the future. The latest proposal would have allowed those immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 to apply for two- and five-year work permits.
Immigrants detained near the southern border.

Disagreements in the Senate: The Future of US Citizenship for the Undocumented

In a recent statement, Durbin and other Democratic senators stated that they “strongly disagree with the Senate’s Parliamentarian interpretation of our immigration proposal.” The senators insisted that they will seek all means to achieve a path to US citizenship in Build Back Better.

For several months now, pro-immigration sectors in Chicago have lobbied for immigration reform to be included alongside the proposed reforms of social and environmental laws in the Democratic bill. Among other events, a student strike and protest was organized outside Durbin’s home in Chicago.

For thousands of immigrants who were left out of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program after a federal judge in Texas blocked the granting of new applications, this may be the last chance to access rights that were denied to them time and time again and finally obtain US citizenship.

If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-0800!

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