WASHINGTON, D.C. — Immigration advocates got a rare, if uneven policy win Friday when the House of Representatives voted 220-213 to pass a hard-fought version of the Build Back Better Act that includes a mixed bag of relief provisions facing an uncertain future in the Senate.
However, some immigration advocacy leaders are already asking for more. “The fight for citizenship is not over,” the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) tweeted minutes after the bill passed. “The bill now goes to the Senate, where we have a chance to fight for more.”
Other grassroots advocates echoed RAICES.
“We need a pathway to citizenship and nothing less,” said Glo Choi, an organizer with Chicago’s HANA Center, a member of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium. “It’s now the Senate’s turn to include citizenship in their version.”
“A temporary work authorization is not the answer to our prayers,” said Patrice Lawrence, executive director of UndocuBlack Network, in an interview with Bloomberg. “Citizenship was promised to us, not another new temporary program that is going to run into red tape at every turn.”
“We expect senators to match the courage that undocumented immigrants demonstrate every day,” said CHIRLA executive director Angelica Salas.
FWD.us president Todd Schulte pushed back on his grassroots immigrant colleagues on the We Are Home coalition’s steering committee. “The proposals for immigrant relief in the Build Back Better Act have been thoughtfully designed to pass the requirements of the ‘Byrd Rule,’ and we are confident it will do so given the clear and substantial budgetary and economic impact,” said Schulte in a statement.
NEW: https://t.co/BrUfJRF9cc Applauds House Passage of Build Back Better Act Including Immigration Relief, Urges Senate to Act Swiftly for American Families https://t.co/ezm4tBrgTe pic.twitter.com/Co73XEnw5A
— FWD.us (@FWDus) November 19, 2021
Parole was designed by the team at Immigration Hub, according to multiple sources on the steering committee. Immigration Hub has the deepest reach in federal affairs, with a staff of former Hill aides and former executive director Tyler Moran now serving as a special assistant to the President for immigration on the Domestic Policy Council.
Moran was replaced by Sergio Gonzalez, a former Senate aide to Kamala Harris who “worked closely with Sen. Harris on oversight of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies,” according to the organization’s website, though it remains unclear to some of Immigration Hub’s grassroots colleagues what results, if any, Gonzales accomplished for Harris in this capacity.
“People who try to frame this as a win for the community need to work closer with more undocumented immigrants,” said Manuel Castro, executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “There’s clearly mass disappointment and confusion, and a sense of betrayal.”
Parole replaced a popular citizenship pathway proposal called ‘registry’ earlier this month during an update of the draft bill published by the House Rules Committee.
In a report published late on Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated enrollment of 6.5 million immigrants for the parole program, including three million who already qualify for green cards as relatives of U.S. citizens. Consideration for this category of immigrants was a late arrival to relief negotiations on Capitol Hill, which until recently had focused mostly on supporting undocumented immigrants without green card eligibility.
“It’s like we don’t even exist,” said a tech worker living on a work-based visa in California, who described their relationship with their employers as “indentured servitude” during a July phone interview with Latino Rebels. “Democrats ignore us, then immigrant rights group attack us for working with Republicans.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) worked with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) during the last Congress on a proposal that was eventually abandoned, a policy loss many green card advocates attribute to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the current Senate majority whip.
“He didn’t want Republicans to get a win for legal immigrants after coming away empty-handed for decades for illegal immigrants,” said the tech worker who spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing blowback by their employer for speaking to the press.
“Right-wing trolls monitor news stories for backlog people who get quoted. If they can make trouble for your boss or school or family-based situation, they will,” said the source, a concern expressed to Latino Rebels by undocumented organizers at a NICE rally for citizenship last week in Times Square.
Despite the constant threat of being doxxed, Indian green card backlog advocates have emerged this year as a force to be reckoned with online, where a singular focus on Sen. Durbin has involved a relentless pressure campaign of phone calls and trending topics on social media led by Immigration Voice, an advocacy group pushing for green card relief.
IMMIGRATION state of play —
✅HOUSE: BBB passes after CBO scores parole at 6.5mil enrollment with 3mil green cards.
⬜️ SENATE: "Sequentially" is how @SenatorDurbin said he wants to proceed. His move. Unclear: Parl on Plan C.
✅WHITE HOUSE: $100bn for immigration in BBB plan. https://t.co/Wqj0THdDK8
— Pablo Manríquez???? (@PabloReports) November 19, 2021
“We strongly support them and have been fighting for them since the beginning of the year,” said Hildingur Mahanti, the group’s vice president, who remains skeptical of Durbin as the bill moves to the upper chamber.
“If (Durbin) were being an honest advocate,” added Mahanti, “he should have already presented the proposals to her and allowed us opportunities to iteratively address her concerns, but he has quite conspicuously not done it for the last three months.”
Pablo Manríquez is the Washington correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports
Immigrant rights advocates–whether their priorities are legalization, backlog reduction, asylum, refugees, due process, root causes/safety/human rights–would be well advised to stop attacking each other and Democrats for the disappointments and failures of reform efforts the past two decades, and instead train their fire on the nativist extremists–the Tanton Network (FAIR< NUMBERS USA< CIS, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon et al) and their allies in the GOP, media and far right provocateurs that incite fear mongering and dehumanization, and have strangled reform since September 11, 2001.
Our organizing and resources should focus on red states and conservative voters and institutions of good will to resist the siren calls of nativist extremists whose ideologies are rooted in population control, eugenics, white supremacy and radical environmentalism. Until their power and influence are curbed, progress and respect for basic human rights will prove elusive. Mor background please review these links, including a recent podcast of the Rational Center
Episode 101: The Anatomy of Extremism with Mark Potok
What is it about immigration that attracts extremist speech? What even is extremism? Mark Potok, seasoned expert on the American radical right, takes us on a tour of nativism and the roots of immigration misinformation in this wide-ranging conversation with host Loren Steffy.
Play This Episode
THIS WEEK IN THE THE RATIONAL MIDDLE
"The contemporary anti-immigration movement in the United States is largely the product of decades of organizing, fundraising, and ideological work by one man — John Tanton," writes Mark Potok. Read the thought-provoking essay on our website, complete with 11 additional immigrations extremist profiles compiled by the Center for the Analysis of the Radical Right.
Connect the Dots, Say the Authors of a Newly Re-Issued Reporthttps://www.prweb.com › releases › prweb13422623
May 18, 2016 — In "From Know-Nothings to KKK to Tanton to Trump," Rick Swartz and Jocelyn McCalla expose the groups they say fuel Donald Trump’s un-American and demagogic immigration proposals and rhetoric.
Immigration Rights Leader Rick Swartz Discusses His Battles …https://www.splcenter.org › intelligence-report › immig…
Jun 18, 2002 — A key activist in the struggle for immigrant rights discusses the evolution and nature of the anti-immigration movement.
The Woman Who Bankrolled the Anti-Immigration Movementhttps://www.nytimes.com › 2019/08/14 › cordelia-scaife-…
Aug 14, 2019 — Cordelia Scaife May, an heiress to the Mellon family's banking and industrial fortune, was far and away the most important donor to the ..
In closing–as of today November 21 no one knows whether or not the Senate parliamentarian will allow any immigration provisions to stay in the Senate reconciliation bill, or if the bill will become law. Even if allowed and enacted, implementation will prove a huge challenge, beset by lawsuits from anti reform groups and certain State Attorneys Generals. Fights in Congress will continue, and most expect the GOP to win back control of the House and perhaps the Senate in 2022 midterm elections. We need to reunite and join forces more effectively, not turn our fire on one another. What is "Plan Z" if reconciliation failures or deeply disappoints??? If interested, contact me for ideas and action strategies on plan Z, and how to better fight for common sense reforms and ultimately defeat the nativit extremist networks that have controlled the outcome the last 20 years. Rick Swartz, email@example.com
[…] November 19, President Biden’s mantlepiece social spending plan passed the House by a vote of 220 to 213, after being delayed overnight by an eight-hour speech by Minority Leader […]
[…] are shared in the chat, which focuses this week on two obscure immigrant relief provisions in the Build Back Better bill sent to the Senate from the House. Sections 60002 and 60003 deal with green card recapture and early adjustment of […]