Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesús García is revolting against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his own party.
Garcia has announced that he will not support the Democrats budget reconciliation bill unless it included a pathway to citizenship for a massive chunk of the illegal immigrants in the U.S.
“A robust and equitable budget reconciliation deal must include a pathway to citizenship for immigrants — our country can’t make a full recovery without it, and I can’t support any deal that leaves so many people in my district behind,” said García.
“We must seize this historic opportunity to bring compassion and dignity to our immigration system and provide the certainty that comes with having the legal status that millions of immigrants and their families deserve,” he added.
“For decades, I have heard the plight of family, friends, and people in my community from the Chicago region whose lives have been put on hold. We cannot wait any longer to fix our immigration system and we need to use any opportunity available to do so, including budget reconciliation for DACA youth, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers,” said García.
“This is crucial for thousands of undocumented essential workers I represent. They sacrificed themselves to keep this country running during the worst of the pandemic and frequently had no access to relief or medical assistance for fear of being deported. We owe it to them,” said García.
“This would potentially be the first meaningful legislative action on this matter in 35 years,” said García.
Here’s more from The Hill on the budget proposal:
The reconciliation bill will package Democratic economic priorities that were left off the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Biden negotiated with Republican senators.
It’s expected to include a host of provisions that Democrats call “human infrastructure,” including child care, and the back-and-forth between progressives and moderates has so far been about the overall cost of the bill rather than its substantial content.
Progressive immigration advocates have been increasingly confident that their main ask — essentially a legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants — will be included in the bill.
The Hill notes that: “Such a move could provide legal status to anywhere between 5 million and 10 million people.”
The issue here is that House Democrats have a slim majority and can’t afford more than a few “no” votes from their own members.
So, if they don’t include the proposal to give a pathway to citizenship for a massive chunk of illegal immigrants, they risk losing Garcia and other Democrats.
And if they do include the proposal in the House bill, it will more than likely fail in the U.S. Senate given there are a few moderate Democrats who will not support the bill.