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Today’s Essential Workers Hearing Kicks Off Next Stage in Immigration Debate Focused on Delivering Citizenship for Millions

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Washington, DC – This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety will hold a hearing, “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America.” The subcommittee hearing, chaired by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), will be the unofficial kick off of the next stage of the immigration debate, focused on the push for citizenship for millions of essential workers, Dreamers, TPS holders, and other immigrants. 

Today’s hearing is another reminder that Democrats are leaning in on immigration and that the larger debate is entering a new moment. Witness: 

  • Democrats are ready to use their majority to deliver on long-overdue reforms – including by relying on the budget reconciliation process to get around bad faith Republican overtures toward bipartisanship, as we have seen in prior immigration debates; 
  • The Biden administration has made positive steps toward a safe, orderly, and humane border and the related right wing media “border crisis” fear mongering has lost its bite
  • The Biden administration continues to turn the page on the cruelty and chaos of the Trump era by reuniting families who were separated under the previous administration;
  • Next week, hundreds of essential workers, advocates and allies will host a virtual fly-in lobby day to keep the pressure on the Congress to deliver this year and keep the focus on the real lives and families at stake.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

Immigrant workers are essential workers and it’s time our country values their work, sacrifices, and contributions by providing a path to citizenship. We cannot continue to simultaneously treat essential workers as both essential and deportable. 

In his short time in the Senate, Sen. Padilla has taken an important leadership role on immigration and as Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee. Today’s hearing marks a new phase in the debate that underscores Democrats’ consensus that this is the year to finally achieve a popular breakthrough on citizenship and for Democrats to use their majority to change lives, strengthen the country and engage America’s immigrants fully in our recovery from COVID-19 and our recovery from the Trump years.

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