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Residents in Coachella Valley and San Bernardino see the federal Budget Reconciliation process as a great opportunity for a pathway to citizenship

San Bernardino—Dozens of clergy and community leaders gathered outside Congressional offices in the Coachella Valley and San Bernardino on Monday to urge federal leaders to continue their efforts to include a comprehensive immigration reform bill as part of their budget reconciliation process.

The Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) – together with Comite Latino, the United Farm Workers, and the clergy community – held actions outside the district offices of Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-San Bernardino) to express the need to create a legal pathway for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that have been promised residency and citizenship for generations. 

The process known as budget reconciliation could allow Congress to create a citizenship pathway for undocumented youth, migrant essential workers, and those with temporary protected status who have been in the U.S. since at least January 1, 2020 and those who can prove consistent income. 

With many banners and signs in hand, chanting “si se puede”, many hope that Congress will finally help deliver on their promise to the immigrant community.

“We continue to raise our calls and fight for the immigrants who work everyday and provide so much to our country, especially during this pandemic,” said Reyes Lopez, ICUC Organizer based in the Coachella Valley. “They deserve to have legal status in this country and it is time for us to be united to achieve this purpose.”

According to clergy leaders, many undocumented immigrants live with uncertainty and fear. By helping the undocumented community through this immigration reform bill, Congress can uphold human dignity and lead through faith, clergy leaders say. 

“This is a justice issue where you have people still living in the shadows.” said Father Manuel Cardoza of the Our Lady of Hope Church in San Bernardino. “As people of faith, we are doing God’s work by calling on Congress to support a pathway to citizenship for families.”
The Senate Parliamentarian heard arguments from both Democrats and Republicans on whether immigration reform should be included in the budget reconciliation process last Friday, and the House Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the language for the proposed immigration reform bill.