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Immigration Experts Discuss Legislative Developments in DC and Grassroots Momentum Across the Country

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A recording of the call can be found here

Washington, DC – Following up a week of developments, immigration experts hosted a press call and discussed legislative developments in DC and grassroots momentum across the country. The call followed up the #WeCantWait day of action rally and march in DC, the Fast for Freedom taking place near the Capitol, and events that have been happening across the country (see here, here, here). Speakers also touched on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ announcement that Democrats are planning to include a pathway to citizenship for certain immigrants as part of a potential reconciliation and human infrastructure package, and what this means for the broader legalization push.

Nanci Palacios, Deputy Director, Faith in Florida, part of the Faith In Action network, said “Creating a pathway to citizenship is not just a moral imperative, it is essential to a robust and sustainable economic recovery plan for this country. We have listened to the stories of sacrifice and perseverance from our fasters, our DREAMers, our TPS holders and our essential immigrant workers. Both the House and Senate have the ability and the votes to include a pathway to citizenship in their budget resolutions. Congress must hear us. We are essential, we are here to stay, and we are home.”  

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director, Voces de la Frontera in Wisconsin, said “I am literally marching towards Madison. We have people ages 7 to 71 in this historic civil rights march which started on Father’s Day to commemorate immigrant fathers. This is to put pressure on Biden to make sure this path to citizenship includes all 11 million workers and that it happens this year. In a state that is so gerrymandered, we have been fighting for restoring drivers licenses. We cannot lose this historic opportunity. This is a moment that we cannot squander.”

Click here for Voces de la Fontera’s press conference with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers earlier today and press materials for the march here

Sara Cullinane, Executive Director, Make The Road New Jersey, saidMobilizations led by immigrants across the country, in our nation’s capital and here at home in New Jersey over this past week have shown the intensity immigrant workers and their families are bringing to the fight for a pathway to citizenship. We are heartened by the commitments to providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers – who saved lives throughout the pandemic with their heroic labor – through reconciliation. We will continue to fight until all 11 million undocumented immigrants have a pathway to citizenship.”

Alex Vazquez, Montgomery County, Maryland Organizer, CASA, saidAfter decades of struggle, we are on the cusp of achieving real relief for immigrant families and thousands came to Washington [for the We Can’t Wait rally on Thursday] to make sure it happens. In light of the commitments on reconciliation we heard at the rally, Democrats are poised to use every tool available while Republicans seem destined to remain in the dustbin of nativism. Americans agree, and the need is apparent: #WeCantWait to win citizenship for 11 million.”