For Immediate Release: September 8, 2021
Labor Leaders Meet With White House, Stress Importance of Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants Now
Washington, D.C. – Today, labor leaders, including representatives of United Farm Workers and SEIU, met with President Biden at the White House to discuss the importance of ensuring a pathway to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants is included in the reconciliation package that Congress is considering and will likely pass this fall. UFW and SEIU are both part of the We Are Home campaign to win a path to citizenship for America’s immigrants.
During the meeting, President Biden said, “I want us to see us finally, finally provide Dreamers, TPS recipients, farm workers, essential workers, a pathway to citizenship, bringing them out of the shadows so they can receive the protection and representation that our laws and our unions provide”
Bridgette Gomez, Campaign Director for the We Are Home Campaign issued the following statement:
“Citizenship for America’s workforce is an investment in the American economy. Immigrant youth, TPS holders, farm workers and essential workers are a key component of our labor force, and we’re encouraged by our conversation with President Biden to ensure that millions within our community have a pathway towards legal status.
“To Build Back Better we have to make sure no one is left behind. The rebuilding of the country is going to need a people first approach and all hands on deck. Immigrants included. Along with jobs, care, and climate, citizenship for immigrant workers and families is an integral part of the recovery package that Congress must enact this year. Our community can’t wait any longer.”
Teresa Romero, President of United Farm Workers and Co-Chair of We Are Home Campaign, added:
“Undocumented farm workers are at the core of our food supply and economy. Congress must honor and protect them by passing a reconciliation package that includes legal status. Legislation granting legal status to farm workers, Dreamers, TPS holders and other essential workers has overwhelming bipartisan support, including from Democratic and Republican majorities. Delivering on immigration this year is paramount. Democratic senators have the power to bring farm workers out of the shadows so they can receive the protections —including union rights— that they deserve. We are grateful for President Biden’s forceful remarks about the need to honor farm workers and other essential workers by passing immigration legislation supporting their unions.”
Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), released the following quote:
“President Biden understands, as we do, that a path to citizenship for dreamers, people with TPS, farmworkers, and other essential workers is not just the right thing to do for those who have played such a crucial role for our nation during the pandemic. It is also the right thing to do for the rest of us because it will unleash the full contribution that these individuals and their families can make towards our common good, increasing GDP, creating jobs, and substantially increasing the wages of average Americans.”
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 Farm Workers/UFW Foundation; and United We Dream.