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Pro-immigrant Movement Celebrates Momentum Toward Victory

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“We have the support of the American people”

Washington, DC – This week the Senate moved America one step closer to enacting legislation that creates pathways to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers. Below is a sampling of those engaged in the fight. 

  • Bridgette Gomez, Campaign Director for the We Are Home campaign: “The significance of this moment cannot be overstated: we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The millions who have played such a pivotal role during the pandemic deserve a path to citizenship. We are more committed than ever to ensure this  budget reconciliation is brought to the President’s desk for his signature. The time is now and this is the year.”
  • Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA): “This is not just for the future of immigrants, it’s for the future of the entire nation. Legalization makes sense morally and economically, and a path to citizenship is good for all of us who make the U.S. home.” 
  • Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA: “Immigrant activists have poured out their hearts sharing their personal stories, calling their members of Congress, hitting the streets, all in the name of citizenship for millions. Now, after years of fighting, as the budget reconciliation package including citizenship for immigrants passes the Senate, we know we have cracked open the path to victory.”
  • Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director, United We Dream and We Are Home Co-Chair: “As we face a new reconstruction of our nation, immigrants are central to our country. Republicans in Congress are not in step with the country at large. Any Congressperson who is not with us is against the 70% of the American public that support a pathway to citizenship … This year, we must deliver citizenship to millions of undocumented Americans. No excuses!”
  • Hina Naveed, RN JD, Co-Director,DRM Action Coalition & Advocate for the NY Immigration Coalition: “The inclusion of a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation package that just passed the Senate is a testament to the courage of Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers who mobilized their communities and demanded this long-awaited action. Now it’s time to make citizenship a reality. We can’t wait any longer!”
  • Lorella Praeli, co-President of Community Change and Co-Chair of the We Are Home campaign: “Democrats have the chance to deliver on a long-held commitment to millions of undocumented people and begin to transform an outdated and cruel immigration system into one that is humane and functional, and one that finally creates a real, navigable path to citizenship…This is our year. And we cannot wait to join hands in the Senate gallery with families like ours to watch the final vote on the reconciliation package, and this time, cry tears of relief and joy.”
  • Patrice Lawrence, Co-Director, UndocuBlack Network: “We must work towards justice and dignity for all immigrants, and we will be there every step of the way to make sure a pathway to citizenship is achieved. If you are a man or a woman of dignity, you must keep your promises, and we will be there to ensure members of Congress keep theirs.”
  • Teresa Romero, President of the United Farm Workers (UFW): “Congress must honor the essential work of farm workers and pass a path to citizenship this year … No excuses. Action is necessary and Democratic senators have the power to deliver.”
  • Rebecca Shi, Executive Director, American Business Immigration Coalition:  “Adding immigration in reconciliation is the only vehicle in sight, and legalization would add $31 billion in federal and state tax dollars and bring about $121 billion dollars in U.S. economic growth.” 
  • Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us: “The human impact of this legislation cannot be overstated. A pathway to citizenship would keep millions of families together, allow people who have been essential to the response and recovery from COVID-19 to continue to support their families and communities, and ensure millions of people are able to fully contribute to our workforce and economy.”
  • Elissa Diaz, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Church World Service and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC): “We celebrate the Senate’s passage of this historic budget resolution and now urge the House to swiftly pass the resolution. It is long past time for Congress to right many wrongs and provide relief for millions of immigrants who call the U.S. home. As faith communities, we remain committed to working with immigrants’ rights partners to make this a reality this year. All people deserve to live a life of freedom and dignity.”
  • Jose Palma, TPS Holder, Coordinator for the Massachusetts TPS Committee, Spokesperson for the National TPS Alliance: “We have earned the same right to lawful permanent residency as any previous generation of immigrants to this country. It is now time for Congress and the Biden administration to bring to fruition legislation that gives us the equality we deserve. Today we have arrived at a crucial moment in our fight, where the next steps involve drafting legislation to comply with archaic rules in a broken Senate. While that process might be out of our control, we can and must do everything to raise our voices, to demand that our families are heard all across the country and in the halls of congress. We refuse to be used as political pawns, we will not allow ourselves to be left behind, and if given the chance to make the case for our families’ future, we know that we will prevail. Victory is in sight, and we will not blink.” 
  • Diana Tellefson Torres, Executive Director, UFW Foundation: “Farm workers feed us without regard to party affiliation and deserve a stable future in the nation they feed. Today we celebrate being one major step closer to establishing a path to citizenship for farm workers, Dreamers, TPS holders and other essential workers. As we move to the second phase of the budget process, we will fight for the preservation of the legalization provisions and continue to defend against anti-immigrant and anti-worker amendments.”
  • Anna Gallagher, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC): “Our country is one step closer to making it official: a path to citizenship is a path to respecting immigrants’ human dignity and a permanent place in their permanent home. We pray that Congress continues to show leadership and enact a path to citizenship this year. Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we and our affiliate network of more than 400 organizations in 49 states, and the Ready to Stay coalition, continue the work of preparing for implementation.”
  • Wendy Cervantes, Director of Immigration and Immigrant Families at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP): “Congress has never been closer to creating a path to citizenship, something so desperately needed to bring a measure of stability to children in immigrant families. Bills already passed the House with bipartisan support. Now, the Senate has advanced the ball. There is still a long way to go, but Congress must complete its mission and finally deliver on these immigration reforms that have been under consideration for more than twenty years. The health and wellbeing of more than five million children are at stake.”
  • Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC): “Today’s passage of the Senate’s historic budget resolution is a strong reminder that a broad multiracial and multigenerational coalition of voters gave Democrats a governing trifecta to respond boldly to the most pressing issues affecting our nation and to ensure that Republican intransigence doesn’t stand in the way of long-overdue progress. This budget resolution, which passed the Senate on a party line vote, represents a historic opportunity to expand the safety net so that everyone in our country has the freedom to thrive.”
  • Mary J. Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice: “Our federal budget must address both longstanding injustices and recent harm. Today’s vote is a pivotal first step in making transformational investments into the people and communities marginalized by our systems and structures. This is the kind of federal budget we need in order to build anew. We call on Congress to pass an equitable budget that requires the wealthiest people and corporations to pay their fair share, raises adequate funding for critical human needs programs, and reduces economic inequality through the tax code. Building and passing such a budget is an example of the ‘better kind of politics’ with ‘human dignity at the center, as described by Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti.”
  • Miriam Abaya, Senior Director for Immigration and Children’s Rights, First Focus Campaign for Children: “Creating a path to citizenship not only spares millions of children the trauma and uncertainty of family separation, but opens economic pathways that pay long-term dividends for them and for the country. As we move toward economic recovery from the pandemic, it is critical we ensure immigrants and their families are not left behind. Citizenship and the opportunities it creates for children’s physical health, educational outcomes, and adult income offer a win for kids and a win for the nation.
  • Juan Vasquez, an E.R. doctor in New York who recently lost his DACA status, op-ed in the Washington Post,I am a DACA beneficiary. I can’t work as an ER doctor anymore”: “Versions of my DACA story are no doubt playing out all over the country. Clearly, this fragile program needs to be put on firmer footing.”
  • Omar Salinas Chacón, a DACA recipient in Kentucky, op-ed in the State-Journal,Dreamers are Kentuckians in every way but on paper”: “Giving dreamers a pathway to citizenship is just one aspect of the immigration reform this country — and those who have made it their country — needs … Thousands of hard-working, honest, contributing members of Kentucky’s society — like me — are depending on it.”
  • Mary Giovagnoli, Senior Legal Counsel of KIND, op-ed in Ms. Magazine, “Creating a Path to Citizenship Is Within Our Grasp”: “Both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have forced this country to take a long hard look at itself and to ask: How can we truly live up to the ideals of our Constitution? One part of the solution is to level the playing field for unauthorized immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades, perform jobs that are essential to everyone’s well-being, and often have U.S. citizen children or other family members. Despite their contributions, they risk deportation every day.”
  • NAKASEC issued a statement noting: “We are thrilled that our community’s voice was heard and that we are closer to relief for undocumented immigrants, of which almost 2 million are Asian American. We’ve never been so close to victory! Now is the time to pull together and make the final push to get over the finish line. Together, we can push Congress and the Biden administration to deliver for our community. This is the moment we’ve all been working for.”
  • Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “This vote is a major step forward. The momentum is building. The country is ready. And Democrats are primed to deliver, using every ounce of their majority.”