McCollum calls on Congress to support amnesty legislation

McCollum blasted the filibuster and congressional Republicans for standing in the way of "reform."

Rep. Betty McCollum speaks at a rally in St. Paul in May 2018. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota has responded to the Senate parliamentarian’s decision to axe amnesty from the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, calling it “extremely disappointing” and reiterating her support for a “pathway to citizenship.”

“The Senate Parliamentarian has issued a ruling stating that Democrats cannot include immigration reform in the proposed budget reconciliation package. This decision is extremely disappointing,” she said in a statement Monday.

“I am ready to vote today to pass immigration legislation that will meet the needs of immigrants, their families, and our economy. Congress needs to act to create a pathway to citizenship that keeps immigrant families and communities strong, safe, and contributing to our society.”

The budget bill’s amnesty provision sought to provide green cards to 8 million illegal immigrants, but Elizabeth MacDonough, Senate parliamentarian since 2012, struck it down as inappropriate for a spending bill because it went beyond the requirements for what could be included.

“The policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation,” she wrote in her ruling, which was obtained by The Hill. “Changing the law to clear the way to [lawful permanent resident] status is a tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact.”

Democrats were attempting to include this provision in order to pass “immigration reform” while simultaneously bypassing the Senate filibuster. In her Monday statement, Rep. McCollum blasted the filibuster and congressional Republicans for standing in the way of said “reform.”

“Republicans across the country remain entrenched in their opposition to immigration reform and outright rejection of immigrants. The critical contributions immigrants make to our economy and society are denied by Republicans,” she thundered. “With millions of jobs unfilled in all sectors of our economy, immigration reform is part of the solution that is consistently blocked by xenophobic Trump Republicans.”

McCollum also called the Senate filibuster an “artificial obstacle” hindering the passage of the Democratic agenda and implored “business leaders, non-profits, and immigrant communities” to hold the GOP “accountable on this urgent matter.”