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Citizenship for Essential Workers Act: The Right Thing To Do For The Nation

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This is the year to put millions of undocumented Americans on pathways to citizenship


This week, the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Castro and Lieu, and in the Senate by Sens. Padilla and Warren. The legislation would put undocumented essential workers on pathways to citizenship. In addition to two bills being voted on this week in the House – the American Dream & Promise Act (HR 6) and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR 1603) – and the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, introduced  by Rep. Linda Sanchez and Sen. Bob Menendez on behalf of the Biden administration, this Citizenship for Essential Worker bill should be included in whatever passes into law this year. 

The following is a statement by Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

From the  moment the pandemic locked down the country, immigrant essential workers have been risking their lives to help the United States survive. On farms and in the fields, in hospitals and kitchens, as home health aids, nurses, drivers, delivery persons and so many key categories of work, their work has sustained us. Having fought for the United States and helped all of us through the pandemic – while paying heavy toll in sickness and death and while excluded from most government relief measures – immigrant essential workers have earned a path to citizenship.

In this Congress, American communities are fighting to deliver a path to citizenship and this legislation provides an additional avenue to pursue that goal. Whether it is as a stand alone measure, part of COVID-19 package or paired with citizenship bills like HR 6 or HR 1603, the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act gives the Congress another road forward. It can also help build momentum for the broader U.S. Citizenship Act that President Biden crafted.

Our goal at America’s Voice is to secure a path to citizenship for as many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living, working and raising families in the U.S. as possible. When we are asked if we support this bill or that bill, our answer is ‘yes.’ We support the bill or bills that provide a path to citizenship that will be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President during this Congress.

The time is now to provide a path to citizenship to America’s undocumented essential workers. The President and Democrats support it. The American people support it. And Republicans who support recovery from the pandemic and economic growth to get us moving again should support bills that provide a path to citizenship. Congress and the American people cannot afford to squander the opportunity to deliver on big, systemic changes that American voters demand.