Dreamers, Farm Workers Call On Congress For Path To Citizenship

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There is a new obstacle to Dreamers across the U.S. and in Connecticut.

The Senate parliamentarian says immigrants cannot seek citizenship through a democratic trillion-dollar social change package.

“It’s disappointing because you’re always hoping there’s an easier way to do things,” Camila Bortolleto, of CT Students for a Dream, said. 

Bortolleo was brought from Brazil to the United States by her parents when she was a child. She is one of the tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who would have found a pathway to citizenship through this measure. 

“At the end of the day the parliamentarian is an unelected official,” Bortolleo said. 

Bortolleo said it’s still up to Democrats in the Senate to decide whether to include it or not. 

“Citizenship would make a huge difference in the lives of myself, my parents," she said. 

She’s not alone. 

“We have always been on the frontlines. What we’re asking for we have earned with our labor,” Pedro Espinosa said. 

Espinosa is one of the essential farm workers who would have been granted a path to citizenship through the same congressional measure. 

“Yes this is a setback. One of the avenues to citizenship has been closed off, but we’re really just getting started,” Megan Fountain, of ULA Unidad Latina en Acción, said. 

Fountain said there are other options open to Congress and President Biden. 

“It may not be a path to citizenship but there are other things that we can include in this build back better bill,” Fountain said. 

“We need to abolish and radically reform the filibuster,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. 

Blumenthal said they haven’t given up. 

“We are absolutely dead set determined that we will not give up,” he added. 

“This year is the best chance that we’ve had in a long time,” Bortolleo said.

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