By Rafael Carranza | Arizona Republic
Community advocates and business leaders are calling on Democrats to bypass a determination Thursday by an unelected adviser in the Senate ruling for the third time that lawmakers cannot include immigration provisions in a $2 trillion reconciliation spending bill.
The Senate parliamentarian dealt a blow late Thursday to Democrats, who had hoped to pass $100 billion for immigration spending in the Build Back Better Act that would, among other things, grant temporary protections and work permits for up to 7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
The decision came as some of Arizona’s largest and best-known corporations and advocacy groups had ramped up pressure on the state’s Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly to take a greater role in passing immigration reform through the gridlocked, evenly divided Senate.
Democrats had tried twice before to include legal protections for undocumented immigrants in budget bills to bypass the Senate filibuster’s 60-vote threshold to pass legislation in the 100-member Senate. The parliamentarian’s guidance published on Thursday said this third attempt was not very different than the previous two.