AOC and Other House Democrats Join Immigration Fight Over Spending Bill

Oct 11, 2021
3:10 PM

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., departs after attending a meeting with President Joe Biden and the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday seven House Democrats from New York signed on to a letter urging the Democratic leadership in Congress to include immigration provisions in the sprawling social spending plan being negotiated on Capitol Hill.

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and was signed by Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nydia Velázquez, Ritchie Torres, Yvette Clarke, Carolyn Maloney, Grace Meng, and Jamaal Bowman. The letter stops short of saying the House members would withhold their votes on a budget reconciliation deal that leaves immigrant relief out, but it did put a price tag on the ask: $107 billion.

The money, the signees say, would go “to expand safety-net protections and create a pathway to citizenship for millions of DACA recipients, people with temporary protected status, essential workers, and farm workers”:

“It is vital that we preserve the entirety of this funding allocation, not only because these communities have been the backbone of our national economy throughout this pandemic and beyond, but also because the U.S. is their only home and refuge from the political, economic, and climate disasters they are fleeing. Additionally, we are also supportive of maintaining the visa recapture provision that was secured in the House text.”

In July, Rep. Chuy García (D-IL) was the first member to say he would oppose a budget reconciliation deal that leaves immigrants out. Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Espaillat (D-NY) later followed suit. Reps. García, Correa, Espaillat, and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) all said last week that they will vote down any infrastructure bill that “does not include some form of commonsense immigration reform.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told Latino Rebels last month that she was not quite ready to obstruct the budget bill if it left immigrants out.

Given the slim margins for Democrats in both chambers of Congress, eight members of the House or just one member of the Senate would be required to derail any piece of legislation that otherwise has unanimous support in the Democratic caucus.

Both chambers of Congress are out today in honor of the federal holiday.


Pablo Manríquez is the Washington correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports