Democrats, recognizing the urgency of the moment, prepare to blow past bad-faith Republicans to deliver citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers
The momentum is building. Vice-President Kamala Harris meets today with directly-impacted immigrants and leading immigrant advocates in the White House. Yesterday, in a CNN town hall, President Biden responded to a question on DACA to call for action in Congress to create pathways to citizenship. Also yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a powerful hearing on the importance of citizenship for farm workers. And leading Democrats joined a Capitol Hill press conference led by ABIC yesterday calling for expansive relief for Dreamers with and without DACA, as well as TPS holders, farm workers and other essential workers.
Listen to these voices from around the country as the drive to achieve a legislative breakthrough gains momentum.
- Elvia Diaz penned a column in the Arizona Republic: “‘Dreamers’ are non-negotiable, folks. Senate Democrats must legalize them as well as farm workers through the reconciliation budget process…It’s becoming abundantly clear that Republicans will not approve any type of immigration reform – not even for ‘Dreamers,’ whom they say they support. That’s just empty rhetoric, amounting to nothing. It’s really up to Senate Democrats now.”
- The Houston Chronicle Editorial Board: Trump is gone. What’s stopping Cornyn from supporting a clean DACA bill for Dreamers? “Javier Quiroz Castro, a 30-year-old critical care nurse at Houston Methodist West Hospital, was tending to..one of his many patients in the COVID unit last Friday when a federal judge in South Texas told him he didn’t belong in this country, even though he’s lived in the United States since age 3…Cornyn told us in October he had called President Trump directly to let him know ‘he no longer felt comfortable’ using Dreamers as leverage to get the wall and other border-related Republican priorities…Well, senator, you now have a president who just might sign a stand-alone DACA bill, if you had the courage to fight for it…A bipartisan solution is preferable, but given Republican plans to use the border as a potent political issue in next year’s midterm elections, the economic recovery maneuver is probably the Dreamers’ only hope.”
- Yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on creating a pathway to citizenship for migrant farmworkers: Senator Ted Cruz joined other Republicans in opposing
“amnesty” and telling Biden to get the border under control. The witness, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, defended the twice-passed Farm Workforce Modernization Act and called out Sen. Cruz’s bad faith gamesmanship: “After Cruz described the border last year under former President Donald Trump as ‘the most secure it’d been in 45 years,’ Vilsack hit back: ‘If that’s the case, then why didn’t you all pass the Modernization Act last year after it passed the House?’”
- Gabriel Ortiz, a TPS holder from Venezuela, says his job as a human rights attorney back in Venezuela put his life in danger: “When you show that situation, when you say that it’s happening, that makes your life a threat, you and your family. We are very concerned on what can happen in the designation of TPS. It’s important for me to have the opportunity to stay here, to work here, to give a better future to my people in Venezuela, and I don’t see a better way to it than here in the United States.”
- Ju Hong, a California resident, signed up for DACA in 2012 when the program first started. When Hong lost his job he knew his life in the US hung in the balance: “’Going back to completely out of status, it’s a scary thing. You’re going back to square one,’ said Hong, who also serves on the leadership council at the nonprofit Immigrants Rising. ‘I’m really tired of living in this limbo.’”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
The majority of Americans, including a majority of independent and Republican voters, support creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Republicans in Congress, however, are focused on kissing Trump’s ring and catering to the white grievance base.
This leaves one route forward: a 51-vote vehicle that can pass without needing support from bad-faith Republicans. The human infrastructure package that Democrats are putting together is just such a vehicle. Go big, Democrats. Go now. Use your majority. Change lives. That’s why the majority of voters put you in power.”