Are These Two Latino Members of Congress Legalization’s Last Stand?

Sep 21, 2021
11:37 AM

L-R: Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) (Public Domain)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The news leaked Sunday night that Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough had rejected Democrats’ first argument against a measure to include some form of legalization for undocumented immigrants in a budget reconciliation bill.

The Parliamentarian rejected the proposal by Senate Democrats saying that mass legalization far outweighed the budgetary impact. MacDonough also stated that Democrats’ argument for legalization opened the door to stripping Americans of their citizenship through future reconciliation packages.

Conventional wisdom in Washington since then is that any form of immigration relief through budget reconciliation will not happen.

Nonetheless, two Congressional Hispanic Caucus stalwarts in the House of Representatives are challenging that notion by tying their votes on Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget deal to immigration reform.

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) said on July 6 that he would not support budget reconciliation that leaves undocumented immigrants behind. Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) followed García on July 25.

Latino Rebels asked both congressmen Monday afternoon on the Capitol steps if they remained a “no” on budget reconciliation without immigrant relief.

“Absolutely,” García said.

“Sounds about right,” Correa noted.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is already divided on the position, with Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) telling Latino Rebels in the Capitol parking lot Monday that he is a hard “yes” on budget reconciliation.

Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told Latino Rebels that it’s too early to draw a line in the sand over the issue.

“So I don’t think that we’re at the point of a hard-line yes or no on immigration,” Ocasio-Cortez said after House votes Monday. “I do believe that we can still get a path to citizenship in there.”


Pablo Manríquez is Latino Rebels’ Washington correspondent. He is an immigrant from Santiago de Chile with a political science degree from the University of Notre Dame. The Washington Post calls him “an Internet folk hero.” Twitter: @PabloReports.