Raul Contreras,

Issued December 16, 2021

Statement from SEIU’s Henry on Senate Parliamentarian’s Ruling Excluding Relief for Immigrants in Build Back Better

WASHINGTON, DC - SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the Senate Parliamentarian’s opinion that a pathway to citizenship and legalization for undocumented immigrants does not meet requirements to be included in the reconciliation package:

“This flawed opinion is not the final word. It represents yet another example of how the system doesn’t work for working people and never has. The Senate Parliamentarian herself has stated that her opinion isn’t based on any precedent, and many experts have said she got it wrong. We need to unrig the rules and stop letting a broken Senate block the will of the people. And we need to make sure that our Senators are doing every single thing possible to win the most protections for the most people right now.

“Workers from all races and backgrounds turned out to elect their representatives with a demand for transformative change. This means investing in Black and brown and AAPI workers who are the backbone of our economy by delivering on a pathway to citizenship, putting a down payment on good paying, union home care jobs, and so much more. Congress and the President have an obligation to meet the demands of workers by delivering a pathway to citizenship and fair and humane immigration reform.

“For decades, DACA recipients, TPS holders, and other undocumented immigrants have been living in fear that they may one day be forced to leave the only country they call home. That should never be the case. Immigrants are our care workers, doctors, teachers, office and hospital cleaners, first responders, neighbors, colleagues and so much more. Millions of them have risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they deserve to be respected, protected and paid. That’s why we won’t stop fighting to pass a package that lives up to the promise of Build Back Better by creating a pathway to citizenship, investing in home care to expand access and create good, union jobs, making a downpayment on climate justice and so much more. Leaders in Congress and the White House must have the courage to step up and meet the moment. The lives of too many families hang in the balance.”


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.