Immigration advocates in New York are vowing to press forward with an effort to provide a pathway to legal status after the U.S. Senate parliamentarian ruled against including the provision in a sweeping domestic spending package.
Advocates and Democrats in Congress had sought the inclusion of the measure that would have affected eight million undocumented immigrants as part of the budget reconciliation process.
Ultimately, the Senate parliamentarian blocked the provision from being included in the package, which would commit new spending for pre-kindergarten, community college, day care, an expansion of health care and efforts to combat climate change.
At heart of the debate for including immigration reform was the economic impact of providing legal status to so many people living and working in the United States.
"We continue to be confident that the ability for people to adjust status will be passed through the reconciliation process given the clear and substantial budgetary and economic impact," said Todd Schulte, the president of the immigration reform group FWD.us.
Jose Lopez, the co-executive director of Make the Road New York, said the parliamentary ruling was another step in the process, and it was up to Democrats in Congress, as well as President Joe Biden's administration, to move the effort forward.
“For years, immigrant communities have fought tooth and nail for a path to citizenship that would have a transformative impact on millions of people who have been forced into the shadows. Nothing about today’s poor decision by the parliamentarian changes that," Lopez said. "This is one step in a longer process, and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail. Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration have committed to bringing home legalization for our neighbors and loved ones in this budget reconciliation package, and we will hold them to their word.”
Still, given the closely divided Congress, moving forward on immigration law changes on the national level may be difficult.
"For decades, millions of young people, TPS recipients and hard-working families have waited for a pathway to citizenship," said Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "At stake is not only the fulfillment of dozens of broken promises but the very health and economic recovery of America. The fight is far from over."