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Despite parliamentarian ruling, AFSC calls on Congress for pathway to citizenship

DACA rally in front of Supreme court
Photo: / AFSC

WASHINGTON, DC (December 16, 2021) Today, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough rejected immigration provisions in the Build Back Better bill. The current bill includes immigration parole, which would allow many undocumented people access to a work permit and relief from deportation, but no opportunity for permanent status. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for decades to change the U.S. immigration system – called on Senate leadership to disregard the Parliamentarian’s recommendation and include a pathway to citizenship in the bill.

“This is the third time the parliamentarian has recommended against including immigration provisions in the Build Back Better bill. Senate leadership must be reminded that the parliamentarians’ opinions do not outweigh the moral and political responsibility to provide true protections for our communities. We are tired of the empty promises that have led to decades of inaction,” said Peniel Ibe, Policy Engagement Coordinator for AFSC. “It is time for lawmakers to fulfill their promises. We are calling on Senate leadership and Vice President Harris to ensure immigration provisions remain in the bill, and include a full pathway to citizenship – like a registry date change – rather than parole.”

AFSC and other organizations across the country have been mobilizing to create a pathway to citizenship for all – bringing community members to Washington, DC to meet with elected officials, calling members of Congress, and holding local events. 

“Thousands of people across the U.S. have been tirelessly advocating for a bill that included a timely, clean, clear and inclusive pathway to citizenship for undocumented people in the U.S.,” said Itzel Hernandez, Immigrant Rights Organizer for AFSC’s Red Bank, New Jersey office. “Congress has the opportunity to provide relief to immigrants, including DACA recipients, long-term residents, and the essential workers across the country, who continue to live each day with fear and uncertainty about their future in the United States.” 

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The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions.

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