Illinois Rep. Jesús García (D) revolted against Nancy Pelosi and put Joe Biden on notice publicly saying he would support a budget reconciliation bill only if it includes a pathway to citizenship for a wide spectrum of the country’s undocumented population.
With a very slim majority in the House, Nancy Pelosi cannot afford to lose any votes. But worse for Nancy, other members of her left flank have been hinting that García’s position is their position.
The liberals in the House have been dropping massive hints that they are about to use their leverage to combat Joe Manchin in the Senate. If he can block stuff with his vote they can in the House with their coalition of votes and that is the nightmare scenario for Chuck, Nancy, and Joe because if these two roads meet and neither gives in, as seems inevitable, that will torpedo Pelosi’s plan to pass this bill and imperil all the others.
“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.
From The Hill:
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.
García did not call for a blanket legalization, instead focusing on groups that have been included in other legislation, including beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, farmworkers and undocumented immigrants deemed essential workers during the pandemic.
Such a move could provide legal status to anywhere between 5 million and 10 million people.
…García’s positioning follows public calls in slightly more hushed tones by other progressives looking to include immigration provisions in a reconciliation effort.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) last week tweeted her list of priorities for the bill, including a pathway to citizenship, and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said immigration reform “should be included” in reconciliation.
But García took the next step, linking his support of the broad effort to inclusion of immigration provisions.