Should Immigration Reform Bill be part of Covid Relief Package?

By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano

The comprehensive immigration reform bill has not been filed in Congress because there is a developing plan to include the reform bill as part of the Covid Relief Package.  The reason is because adding the reform bill to the relief package would only require a simple majority vote in the Senate by using the Budget reconciliation process.  Without this method , a 60 votes in the Senate is needed to pass the reform bill. This other process in known as the Filibuster method or long debate method.   In my opinion adding the reform bill to the relief package is the better way because the chances of approval is better than having a separate bill.

Democrats are moving forward with President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that could require they use reconciliation to advance it in the Senate without GOP support.  Pelosi and Schumer filed a joint budget resolution that starts the process that would allow Congress to pass the relief package with a simple majority.

A group of 100 lawmakers, led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, on Saturday urged House leadership to include the path to citizenship, which would apply to about 5 million undocumented immigrants who are essential workers. More than 500 national, state and local organizations — including the Center for American Progress, Immigration Hub and Human Rights Campaign — last month urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Pelosi to do the same.

Democrats in the House and Senate have not yet formally introduced bills with Biden’s comprehensive immigration reform plan. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) are taking the lead in preparing the bill for introduction in their respective chambers. But getting a big bill through Congress is widely expected to be a difficult task given the 50-50 split in the Senate — meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to support the legislation.

Republicans have already been critical of the size of Democrats’ proposed package and some have argued that the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship would be a show of Democrats dropping in unrelated and unnecessary items into the relief bill resolution that starts the process that would allow Congress to pass the relief package with a simple majority.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not plan to include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers, Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients as part of an upcoming coronavirus relief package, despite calls from Democrats and immigrant advocates to do so.

If the House leadership’s plan to keep a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers be on a separate track from its massive coronavirus relief package, it will be a blow for Democrats and immigrant advocates looking for immediate opportunities to move reform forward quickly.

Note:  This is not a legal advice.


1.       For the month of January 2021, we received from USCIS approvals of two relative petitions, one fiancée visa petition and one removal of condition on residence petition.

2.       For the month of November and December 2020, we received approvals of four K-1 Fiancé visa, five green card applications and one I-601 Hardship waiver.   

3.       For the month of October 2020, we received from USCIS seven approvals of Family petitions, and one Removal of Condition on residence.      

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation. 

Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: 

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment