Albany, NY – Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, Chair of the New York State Assembly Task Force on New Americans released the following statement today on yesterday’s ruling by U.S. Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough against the Majority’s plan to provide 8 million green cards as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill.
“Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Majority leadership fine-tuned their plan to use the $3.5 trillion spending bill to provide statutory changes and the funding for 8 million green cards for four groups of immigrants: "Dreamers," temporary protected status (TPS) holders, agricultural workers and essential workers. It is beyond heartbreaking that this work has been ruled irrelevant and not in accordance with Senate rules on federal spending legislation.
Immigrant advocates, community leaders, religious leaders and millions of Americans strongly believe that we need immigration reform that will provide legal permanent resident status and a path to apply for citizenship if these hard-working immigrants can meet other qualifications.
Senator Schumer and the U.S. Senate Majority Leadership cannot allow the urgent need for immigration reform to be derailed by a process used to encapsulate an arbitrary decision by the Senate Parliamentarian.
Twenty-five years ago, our federal government understood that undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States were prime targets for abuse. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided a path for the legalization of 3 million immigrants.
Today, the need to modernize our immigration system must contend with the need to protect the millions of immigrants living in the shadows who toil daily on our farms and food processing plants, as essential workers and as “Dreamers”.
At this moment in time, the path is clear: Legalizing the status of millions of our fellow residents is the right thing to do! Senator Schumer and the Senate Majority should remain focused on including immigration reform in the federal spending plan, remain steadfast in their pursuit for justice for immigrants, and employ all means at their disposal to ensure another year is not wasted on these efforts.”