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Immigration Advocates Discuss Multiple Strategies Driving Momentum Behind Legalization Push

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You can hear a recording of the call here

Earlier today, leaders of the We Are Home campaign gathered on a press call to discuss the building momentum for a push for legalization. These key leaders are determined to fight for a path to citizenship for deeply rooted undocumented immigrants in our neighborhoods, communities and families through legislation and budget reconciliation. Leaders will update on the campaign’s strategies and activities building up to the end of the President’s first 100 days and May 1, a day expected to bring virtual and in-person marches and activities in support of immigrant justice.

“Despite greatly contributing to the recovery of COVID-19, the millions of undocumented immigrants who society has deemed as “essential” have been systematically left out of COVID-19 relief simply because of our status” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream (UWD). “As he nears his first 100 days in office, President Biden faces a choice: he can continue Trump’s legacy of white nationalist policies or choose to boldly set our country on a transformative new path forward by providing a broad pathway to citizenship for millions of people including immigrant youth, TPS recipients, and essential workers.”

Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union, (SEIU), said, “Millions of courageous immigrant workers are risking their lives everyday on the front lines to provide us with healthcare, food and other essentials during this deadly pandemic. But these same immigrant families are living in limbo as politicians drag their feet on a pathway to citizenship. Now, it’s time for the White House and Congress to show up for them. Let’s get it done.”

“During the COVID pandemic, farmworkers were labeled essential, but in many ways the reality of farmworkers stands in sharp contrast with the designation by the federal government as essential, critical infrastructure,” said Teresa Romero, President of United Farm Workers (UFW). We are working to make sure that farm workers receive what they have earned: the right to apply for U.S. citizenship. Farmworkers didn’t hesitate to harvest food for everyone, Congress should not hesitate either.” 

We represent the nannies, the homecare workers and the house cleaners who provide the essential caregiving and cleaning services inside of our homes that make everything else possible, said Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). “This part of our economy has the largest concentration of undocumented workers and for many, we have relied upon them. If we want a sustainable, durable recovery that is equitable and lifts us all, we must include a path to citizenship for domestic workers.”

Bridgette Gomez, Campaign Manager, We Are Home, said, “We are working hard to ensure our leadership is doing everything in their power to provide immediate relief and protection to undocumented members in our community who have brought this country forward during its hardest moments. Right now is our critical window and opportunity to build on the passage of a House bill and make sure citizenship is included in the next reconciliation package. It’s time to talk about solutions that take us from politics to action.”

Sergio Gonzales, Executive Director of the Immigration Hub, said “As America begins to finally look to recovery, we must remember that undocumented people were at the heart of keeping the lights on during the darkest days of this historic pandemic. There is no economic recovery, or recovery at all, without them. Republicans can continue to try to use immigration to scare, distract and divide, or they can choose to work with us on solutions that are supported by a bipartisan majority of Americans. Either way, Democrats must lean in and deliver on promises of immigration reform. We must have citizenship this year.”

We Are Home is a nationwide campaign to fight for immigrant communities on three fronts: prioritizing and demanding a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; a moratorium and overhaul of interior enforcement; and broad affirmative relief from deportation. We Are Home is co-chaired by Community Change/Community Change Action; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)/Care in Action; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); United Farm Workers/UFW Foundation; and United We Dream.