Friday, July 19, 2024

Democrats Battling to Include Immigration in the Build Back Better Act

Senate Democrats have made their third attempt to include immigration procedures in the Build Back Better Act using a technical procedure.

The process is called budget reconciliation, meaning the bill could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes and not require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. It will determine whether Democrats can positively pass a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Democratic lawmakers put a lot of effort into including immigration in the bill and the provisions would be historic if passed. However, they don’t provide a path to citizenship like Democrats had wanted, only a temporary reprieve for undocumented immigrants.

The House version of the bill entails temporary protection from deportation and provides working permits to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before January 2011. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, about 6.5 million undocumented immigrants would qualify.

Douglas Rivlin, a spokesman for America’s Voice, said in a statement, “the work permits and deportation protections in the BBB legislation will benefit millions of immigrants who are Americans in all but paperwork and have stepped up for all of us during COVID and kept us fed, kept us safe, and kept our economy moving.”

Passage in the House doesn’t guarantee passage in the Senate, especially since the parliamentarian has already rejected two immigration proposals in the past.

“The final details matter but we’re confident immigration relief will be included in Build Back Better,” stated Kerri Talbot, Deputy Executive Director at the Immigration Hub.