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Democrats prep 'Plan B' after immigration bid rejected

Suzanne Monyak, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

“I do not think that the parliamentarian’s ruling speaks to that, since that was not submitted as an option for her to consider at that time. But I do believe they’ll first pursue legalization ideas, and then I do believe that at some point they will also discuss recapture with her as well,” she said.

Greg Chen, government relations director for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said these provisions, if successfully enacted, would be significant for large numbers of people stuck in the backlogs.

“We’re talking about years of wait by family members and potential foreign workers that have been unable to fill jobs and to reunite with their families,” he said.

The absence of any immigration measure could make it harder to pass the package in the House, adding pressure on Democrats, who can afford to lose only three of their own party’s members in the House amid united GOP opposition.

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Ill., said in July he would not vote for a reconciliation measure without a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

He’s now one of several more progressive lawmakers calling on Senate Democrats to consider overruling MacDonough, which would require the support of all 50 Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris.


In a statement late Sunday, Garcia urged the Senate “to have the courage to overrule this decision.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., made a similar call, writing on Twitter that the parliamentarian’s decision “is only a recommendation” and that Schumer and the White House “can and should ignore it.”

In addition, immigrant advocates continue to ramp up the pressure, warning of political consequences for Democrats if they fail to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship this year.

“Nobody gets to hide behind (the parliamentarian) this year. There are no brownie points for trying. There are no participation trophies,” Lorella Praeli, co-president of Community Change Action, told reporters Monday.


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