You can listen to a recording of the call here.
Earlier today, experts, advocates and impacted individuals gathered on a weekly “Office Hours” press call co-hosted by America’s Voice and We Are Home. Important votes took place this week in the House on HR 6 (The American Dream & Promise Act) and HR 1603 (The Farm Workforce Modernization Act) to establish a path to citizenship for farm workers, Dreamers, and TPS/DED. With attention moving to the Senate, advocates from Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas analyzed the votes and the momentum these bills and others have for enactment during this Congress. Speakers also addressed efforts to block or derail reform by weaponizing the plight of minors seeking safety at the Southern Border, as well as immigration issues that will be in the news in the coming weeks, like TPS for Haiti and the continued deportation flights to that country.
Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), said, “We could not be more energized or excited about the historic moment in the House this week with the passage of the Dream and Promise Act, and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. These policies uphold our country’s values of freedom and opportunity, a promise we seek to realize for all who live and work here in our country. These bills represent a significant step towards our goal of citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The urgency of this progress could not be higher. Undocumented workers have been at the front lines of the pandemic for a year now. Looking ahead, thinking about our country’s economic recovery, we must recognize the essential role that immigrant communities will play and do play. To create a just jobs plan for all of us we must ensure that a path to citizenship for essential workers such as domestic workers is a core part of the strategy.
“For years, undocumented immigrants have fiercely led a movement that will provide us with a pathway to citizenship that we deserve. The passage of this bill in the House brings the promise of long overdue relief to millions of undocumented youth and TPS holders who consider this country home. The House vote on this legislation brings me one step closer to ensuring that I will be able to have permanent protections in this country alongside my children and family,” said, Eliana Fernandez, DACA recipient and lead organizer at Make the Road New York. “We appreciate the House leading the way to passing life-changing legislation. Nonetheless, as we celebrate the bill’s passage, we are also disappointed that the bill includes harmful provisions that criminalize our people. We call on Senate Majority Leader Schumer to immediately amend these exclusionary provisions, which rely on our discriminatory criminal legal system, and will lead to the exclusion of many of our community members.”
Genesis Renteria, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), Phoenix, “My family immigrated to the United States in 1997. In 2012, I benefited from DACA, and have been renewing my DACA since then. It has been nine years and DACA was meant to be a temporary solution. My story is one of millions. The Dream and Promise Act passed in the House, however we now wait for the votes from our Senators. In Arizona, we urge Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema to vote in favor of the Dream and Promise Act and uphold the promise they made to us in 2018.”
“The battle for the dignity of many working people in the United States and the cohesion of their families is tied to bills, and fates, of decision-makers in Washington DC. Immigrants have critically saved lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, and paid their dues, and taxes, for many years, while often not even having a clear legal status for them to plan and organize their lives around. It is high time to bring the chapter of unreciprocated love and dedication to an end.” said, Paul Christian Namphy, Lead Community Organizer at the Family Action Network Movement, “We, at FANM , salute HR6’s passing in the House of Representatives yesterday. We now call upon the United States Senate to pass, with sufficient votes, the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 and any other legislation that creates a path to citizenship for many TPS, DACA and DED recipients and farmworkers. Also, we call upon the Biden Administration and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to grant TPS redesignation to Haiti and other countries that are suffering grave human rights crises and political instability.”
Fernando Garcia, Executive Director, Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), El Paso, said, “As the GOP doubles down on its anti-immigrant, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric criminalizing migrant children and families at our border in order to justify further militarization of the border region, Democrats must offer bold solutions to fix our broken immigration system that do not abandon the millions of undocumented people left out of H.R. 6 and asylum-seekers at our borders. BNHR urges Congress and the Biden administration to move quickly to pass inclusive legislation that will create a pathway to lawful status for all of the 11 million undocumented, and reject any enforcement trade-offs that will ultimately harm our border communities and our nation as a whole. Additionally, we call for a significant investment in the construction of Welcoming Centers with comprehensive services including housing, legal assistance, and COVID-19 tests and vaccines for asylum seekers, as well as more asylum judges and officers to process cases in a timely manner.
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 Farmworkers/UFW Foundation; and United We Dream.