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ATLANTA, GA – On Thursday, December 16th, 2021, the Senate parliamentarian made public the advisory opinion to exclude immigrant protection from the Build Back Better Act. Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO and GALEO Impact Fund, issued the following statement today:

“The ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian is advisory and not binding.  Under existing Senate rules, the advisory can be overruled.  Continued inaction by Congress is unacceptable any further as it has been decades in the making.  The time to deliver is NOW.  Millions voted for Joe Biden and Senate Democrats to bring about the change they promised.  Now, it is time to deliver, both on Build Back Better and immigration reform with a path to citizenship. We urge Senate Democrats to use their power to include a path to citizenship for essential workers and other immigrants that have become part of the fiber of this country, as we need economic recovery. We urge Senator Ossoff and Senator Warnock to vote against the advisory opinion and protect the immigration reform proposal, including a path to citizenship for millions of deserving immigrants. Time for excuses is over, and Congress must get it done.”

Background on the procedural steps Senate Democrats can use to disregard the parliamentarian:   

  1. Senate Democrats include permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in their version of the Build Back Better Act;
  2. A Senator raises a point of order that including a pathway to citizenship in reconciliation violates the Byrd Rule;
  3. Either the Vice President, Senate President Pro Tempore, or another presiding Senator rules that the legislative text does not violate the Byrd Rule;
  4. A Senator appeals the ruling of the chair, triggering a vote with a 60-vote threshold to strip the pathway to citizenship language from the bill. Only 41 votes would be required to sustain the ruling of the chair and keep a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act;
  5. Senate Democrats stay united and defeat all immigration-related amendments from Senate Republicans during Vote-a-Rama;
  6. All 50 Democrats and Vice President Harris vote to pass the Build Back Better Act in the Senate.  

GALEO is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 2003. GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latinx community is engaged civically. GALEO contributions are involved in increasing civic participation of the Latinx community and developing prominent Latino leaders throughout Georgia. – 678.691.1086


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