A link to the recording can be found here.
Washington, DC- Today, advocates and activists who mobilize immigrant, Black, Latino, Labor and progressive voters in key battleground states gathered on a press call to urge Democrats to keep fighting and win legalization for immigrants because of its impact on voter enthusiasm in upcoming 2021 and 2022 elections. The multiracial majority that mobilized for Democrats in 2020 – especially in states like Arizona, Florida and Nevada – and mobilized in California this year – strongly supports legalization for immigrants and expects Democrats to use their majority to deliver. A change in tone and policy on immigration and racial justice from the Democrats is especially crucial after the nation witnessed the horrible treatment of Haitian migrants on the border and the deportation of many of them back to danger in Haiti. Grassroots leaders actively engaged in getting voters to the polls discussed the importance of delivering a victory on immigration – not just fighting for one – when votes are cast this year, next year and in the future.
Acson Maleus, Miami Member, Canvasser & Haitian Immigrant, UNITE HERE Local 355 (Miami), said, “I came to Miami from Haiti in 2016 in search of a better life and more opportunities. Recently, I was able to apply for TPS. During the pandemic I was laid off and joined my union, UNITE HERE Local 355 to get out the vote in South Florida. We led the largest union operation canvassing, turning out voters in support of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. I was there everyday, pushing for the Democrats to Take Back the White House, but what do we have to show for it? It makes me angry to see what’s happening at the Mexican and U.S. border to my Haitain sisters and brothers. We deserve the chance to create a future for our families. We urgently need to pass immigration reform this year. Undocumented immigrants, TPS holders, DREAMERS, and farmworkers need a permanent solution to the path to citizenship, we expect and demand action.”
Rocha (known as ‘Rocha’), Immigrant Member of Culinary Union/UNITE HERE Las Vegas, said, “I am very excited that we are acknowledging the power of immigration right now. In 2020 we were canvassing trying to get Democrats to the polls. They were showing interest in voting for DACA and TPS with citizenship attached. I believe we are equal and we have been supporting our community. We want the Democrats to help us out. It is so hard to work in Vegas when it’s 120 degrees, but many immigrants were working on the frontlines in 2020 [during the pandemic] and they didn’t have green cards and couldn’t collect unemployment. We demand immigration reform.”
Alicia Contreras, Executive Director, Corazon Faith in Action AZ, said, “We are completely disappointed and infuriated with the recent ruling [of the parliamentarian]. For over a decade we have mobilized and continued to fight for our families and we will not have our undocumented families be pushed to the side. We know the power of our community because of mobilization. There will be no economic or moral recovery without a pathway to citizenship. We will continue to mobilize and bring our community into the ballot box. We are calling on the Biden administration, and Democrats, to remind them that they are in charge and they have the power so it is time to celebrate and work with us.”
Angelica Salas, Executive Director, CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said, “What happened last week was disappointing and unacceptable. We are not defeated. We persist because the immigrant community is part of this country’s infrastructure. In 2020, our community mobilized to ensure there were pro-immigrant powers in the White House and the Senate. We voted for people who we expected to be champions for our family. The California recall was an anti-immigrant effort, but our community fought back. We turned out voters by knocking on doors and making calls. Our community has consistently risen to the cause. It’s time for those we have shown up for to show up for us. We say yes to immigrants and to citizenship.”