Progressive Caucus Chair Jayapal Wavers On Immigrant Relief In Budget Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The full-throated support Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) once gave to a citizenship pathway for immigrants in the budget bill has begun to fade from her public statements in recent days.

Last week the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair spoke at length with reporters of her “four priorities in the care bucket” for the Build Back Better Act, leaving off the fifth priority listed by her caucus back in April: a pathway to citizenship.

In a press scrum on Monday, October 25, which lasted for just over eight minutes, Rep. Jayapal did not mention immigration.

At House votes on Tuesday, October 26, Latino Rebels asked Congressional Progressive Caucus Whip Ilhan Omar (D-MN) if including immigrant relief in the bill was still a priority for progressives. “Yes,” replied Omar. “One of the five.”

In April, Progressive Caucus members announced their five official priorities for the budget bill, positioning a “Roadmap for Citizenship and Inclusion for Immigrant Communities” at fifth on their list.

Priorities are short of ultimatums in the parlance of legislative negotiations on Capitol Hill, acting as the goalposts that caucuses use to establish the parameters in legislative debates.

A vote is required to establish the official positions of the caucus. Another vote is required to change them.

“I have brought it (immigrant relief) up to the President multiple times,” Jayapal told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell during an interview on Monday. “What we have come to is that if there are senators who will not overrule the Parliamentarian, then— I don’t think that it’s going to be possible to put it in.”

The Progressive Caucus chair’s remarks echo those made by conservative Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the bill’s primary antagonist within the Democratic Caucus.

By Pablo Manríquez for LATINO REBELS
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