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New York Leaders Have Mixed Reactions To Build Back Better Act

Plus: Immigrants march 11 miles to demand federal representatives include citizenship in their reconciliation bill

Deanna Garcia

Nov 22, 2021

Advocates, local officials and community members pop off confetti during a rally celebrating gaining a super majority in the City Council for the Our City, Our Vote Legislation at Corona Plaza on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

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U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) welcomed the House’s passage of the Build Back Better Act, Democrats’ $2.2 trillion social spending package. “History was just made, and I am tremendously proud and grateful for the leadership that brought us to this moment in America,” said Clarke, who is a daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Clarke, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Taskforce on Immigration and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the act will “create jobs, reduce costs, tackle the climate crisis, make our nation more competitive, and rebuild the middle class.” Caribbean National Weekly 

Still, others feel this package doesn’t go far enough for immigrants since it provides work benefits to those who arrived in the U.S. before 2011 but doesn’t give them a path to citizenship. “It’s time for Senate Majority Leader Schumer to use his power and deliver on the promises he and President Biden made to immigrant communities,” said Murad Awadeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “We can’t afford to wait any longer, and we won’t accept the scraps of a makeshift stopgap as a solution because we know all too well the human costs of deferring a real, lasting, and permanent solution.” The NYIC launched a video advertisement, held multiple vigils and campouts outside of Schumer’s home, and took other action to encourage more immigration measures in the package. Harlem World Magazine 

In other local immigration news…

Immigrants March 11 Miles for U.S. Citizenship

Caribbean and other immigrant New Yorkers marched 11 miles from Manhattan to Brooklyn to demand a pathway to U.S. citizenship last week. The marchers reminded federal representatives of their campaign promises to provide legalization for 11 million undocumented individuals, which includes a significant number of Caribbean nationals. Yaritza Mendez, co-director of organizing at Make the Road New York, said immigrant communities have fought tooth and nail for decades for a pathway to U.S. citizenship “and that is what we deserve.” NY CaribNews

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