AILA Quicktake #308: Immigration Reform Through Budget Reconciliation Process

Momentum continues to build to enact immigration reform. AILA’s Greg Chen explains how the legislative process called budget reconciliation can lead to significant immigration reforms, where we are in the process, and what can AILA members and public do to make reform a reality.

Video Transcript

AILA Quicktake #308 – Immigration Reform Through Budget Reconciliation

In recent days and weeks, Momentum has continued to build to enact immigration reform this year. AILA needs your help in getting the job done.

To recap, in August the Congress took the first step in the legislative process called Budget Reconciliation by passing the budget resolution--the 3.5 trillion package of infrastructure reforms designed to rebuild America’s economy called Build Back Better.

Importantly included in the budget resolution are urgently needed reforms to the immigration system that AILA has been fighting for.

During August and early September, the Judiciary committees and other committees of jurisdiction drafted bill text following the instructions of the August budget resolution.

The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee completed its immigration provisions for the bill and on September 13th passed it without any amendments being made to the text. The bill includes first a path to citizenship for many undocumented populations, Dreamers, TPS and DED recipients, essential workers, and farmworkers.

Second, reforms to the immigration system to recapture unused family based, employment based and Diversity visas as well as reduce the incredible long backlogs and delays in processing that keep families, workers, and others from completing the immigration process.

The bill also includes funding for USCIS to ensure it can properly process applications and petitions.

The Judiciary-passed bill will be combined with the overall budget reconciliation bill and get voted on the House floor likely during the week of September 20th.

Next the Senate is expected to pick up its versions and vote for passage. By using the budget reconciliation process, the Senate only needs a simple majority to pass the bill rather than a super majority of 60 votes that is usually needed. This gives immigration reform a far better chance of passing.

The hope is that the Senate will pick up the bill by late September or early October and finish its work by the end of October.

We have come a long way in our fight to get immigration reform passed. Farther than many expected.

But there are still many steps in the process before the president can sign the bill into law.

So, we need to keep fighting to ensure immigration stays in until the very end

In the upcoming days and weeks, it is vital that members of the House and Senate continue to hear from you about why they must enact immigration reform this year.

Contact your member by clicking on AILA’s action center: aila.org/takeaction.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21091404.