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Immigrants Lift Up Their Voices and Their Power to Drive Momentum Ahead of Big Week on Immigration

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Democrats Can’t Let Another Election Cycle Pass Without Action and Results


Ahead of a busy week, advocates and policy makers are building momentum toward the goal of citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other essential immigrant workers.

  • DACA recipients meet with President Biden and make a powerful case for citizenship and certainty: On Friday, President Joe Biden hosted six DACA recipients in the Oval Office in a sign that the White House is beginning to lean into the push for legislative breakthrough this year. The voices, stories and reactions of the six DACA recipients involved in the meeting drove home the significance and why we need to deliver: Maria Praeli said on MSNBC, “It’s extremely painful to feel so American yet know that my future in this country is not secure.” Meanwhile, watch this powerful video of Texas DACA recipient and special education teacher Karen Reyes, showing her in tears as she spoke with her family on the phone from the White House grounds following the meeting. 
  • Senator Padilla makes case for essential workers and, if need be, reconciliation: After chairing a Senate subcommittee hearing on “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America,” Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” this weekend, making the case for citizenship for essential workers. Notably, with Senate Republicans like Lindsey Graham saying there’s a “snowball’s chance in hell” of a bipartisan legislative breakthrough this year, Senator Padilla reiterated support for Democrats using the reconciliation process to pass immigration, stating: “In an ideal world, we’d get it done with significant bipartisan support. But frankly, if we’re able to do this through a budget reconciliation process or attaching it to other must-pass items, if that’s the way to get it done, then we need to get it done.”
  • Powerful new video – “We can’t be essential and deportable:” A new video from We Are Home Action offers a reminder why a grateful nation should ensure citizenship for the more than 5 million undocumented immigrant essential workers. The video, viewable here, states: “No matter how bad things got, we showed up every day, risking our lives and our families’ too, to make sure America had what she needed … food on the table … and life-saving care. We were just doing our jobs … for that you called us essential workers … immigrant essential workers like us need a path to citizenship … because we can’t be essential AND deportable.” 
  • Tuesday this week is a major day of action for citizenship: The We Are Home virtual fly-in day tomorrow will feature hundreds of impacted individuals, DACA recipients, TPS and DED holders, farmworkers, essential workers and their allies in faith, labor and the pro-immigrant movement. More than 80 meetings with Hill offices are confirmed, in addition to a virtual luncheon at 12 PM that will include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats (to be live streamed at bit.ly/wahlunch). At a 6 PM virtual rally and celebration, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) will be among the speakers – it also will be live streamed, at bit.ly/wahrally.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The campaign to win pathways to citizenship for millions is gaining momentum. The voices and stories of those directly affected are driving the campaign forward. With Republicans making clear that they are more interested in running on immigration next year than in achieving a legislative breakthrough this year, it’s up to Democrats to use their majority to go big, go fast and change lives. If America is to recover from the moral stain of Trumpism and build back better, immigration reform is a must-have this year.”