For Immediate Release
Contact: Janelle Erickson
January 25, 2021
Mobile (310) 614-0289
Leading Organizations Join Forces, Launch
Nationwide Campaign for Immigrant Justice
Goals: 1) Stop the Pain Caused by Trump’s Cruelty; 2) Build a Fair, Humane and Functional System; 3) Legalize Millions of Undocumented Immigrants
Washington, D.C. – This is the year.
Today leading groups from diverse sectors – local, statewide, and national – are launching the We Are Home campaign to win bold immigration policy changes that transform millions of lives.
The campaign will spend eight figures. The campaign begins with a 6-figure digital media push in Washington D.C. and targeted states to reach Members of Congress and encourage the Biden-Harris Administration. Leveraging the power of all partners, the campaign will engage in grassroots organizing, community mobilization, direct action, digital organizing, paid media, cultural organizing and direct advocacy.
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); and United We Dream.
Campaign Steering Committee members also include America’s Voice, Detention Watch Network, LA RED/Faith in Action, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)-CASA, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Make the Road New York (MRNY), FWD.us, Immigration Hub, Mijente, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), UndocuBlack Network, UnidosUS and UNITE HERE.
The newly-hired Campaign Director is Nathaly Arriola. A proven strategist who recently led the movement to impeach former President Trump as the Executive Director of Need to Impeach. Nathaly has played key roles in the Biden-Harris transition, Obama Administration, and the Senate.
The We Are Home coalition demands both executive and legislative changes to America’s immigration system. Our three major goals:
This is the year.
Lorella Praeli, Co-President, Community Change/Community Change Action
“Our people and our movements have organized for decades to get us to today. We are on the cusp of dismantling a dysfunctional, unjust, and inhumane immigration system, and winning laws and policies that respect the dignity and rights of immigrants. We are demanding a path to citizenship and a transformation of the enforcement system so it no longer leads with detention and deportation. We are demanding a better future for our families, our neighbors, our children. We are demanding a future where we all can thrive, regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. We are home. We’ve been home.”
Jess Morales Rocketto, Political Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Executive Director, Care in Action
“As we acknowledge the Biden-Harris administration’s historic first step to protect essential workers, we must also press Congress to protect domestic workers, who are disproportionately immigrants and women of color. This, too, is their home — the nannies, house cleaners, and care workers who are risking their lives to take care of our loved ones — and no one should live in fear at home. We will not rest until our country is one where ‘we the people’ include all the people who make up our communities.”
“Immigrant workers in Black and brown communities used the power of their vote to elect Joe Biden in record numbers. Workers are demanding: respect us, protect us, pay us – and that includes undocumented immigrants having a path to citizenship. It’s time to pass fair and humane immigration reform that will put undocumented immigrant workers on a fast track to citizenship. It’s the only way we’ll be able to tackle the pandemic and make our nation whole,” said Rocio Sáenz, Executive Vice President for SEIU. “This is a call for transformation in how essential workers are treated in our country. We’re at a unique moment in time when so many workers who have been invisible for so long are finally being recognized. There is no economic recovery without all essential workers being protected, immigrants being included in COVID emergency relief packages, and creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who serve as essential workers. The best way to solve this crisis for any of us is to fashion policies that include all of us,” said Saenz
“In the Oval Office, the bold work of a new day begins,” said United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero. “The president we mobilized to elect sat down before a likeness of Cesar Chavez, a farm worker from the borderlands who knew tomorrow can be better if we stand together. And together, the work continues toward a permanent solution for undocumented farm workers and immigrants whose only place they know as home is here. ¡Si, Se Puede!
“Farm workers nurture the country that they call home through their daily labor securing America’s food supply,” said UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres. “It is time that our nation acknowledges the contributions of immigrants. The Biden presidency brings new hope to millions of undocumented families who’ve suffered time and time again for the last four years and beyond. Our immigrant communities are ready for a permanent immigration legislative solution and they are ready to take action to win.”
Greisa Martínez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream
“Our collective work to mobilize millions in 2020, led by the tenacity of immigrant young people, and a Black-led multi-racial coalition of organizers, delivered this victory. With the launch of the ‘We Are Home’ campaign, we will bring the power of millions more to deliver permanent protections for our community. This is our victory, and we are demanding exactly what we organized for – a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people, stopping deportations, and defunding ICE, CBP and police. Immigrants have always been essential and we will play an integral part in the reconstruction of our country. To meet this moment, we call on President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer, Democrats and Republicans in both chambers take bold action and redirect our country away from the plague of white supremacy. We know that only legislation can deliver permanent protection – DACA is the floor, not the ceiling. Our power is undeniable, our demands are undeniable. The time is now, we’re ready.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice
“The tectonic plates underlying the immigration debate have shifted. The immigrant justice movement has never been stronger; public support has never been deeper; the Democratic coalition has never been this united; and the electoral politics around immigration have never been more favorable. If we are to be a nation that realizes the promise of equality for all, justice for all and opportunity for all, we have to transform our immigration system into one that lives up to our ideal of America as a welcoming nation.”
“For decades, immigrant communities have upheld American society, feeding our families, caring for our children, building our homes. Well overdue is the dignity and respect that our communities are owed for doing all of the work – with none of the recognition,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “Overhauling the country’s immigration system would breathe new life into a broken structure. We look to Congress to rise up on its promise to serve the immigrant community and offer relief for the 11 million that have served the country so reliably.”
“Home without your family, without security, without a job, without fear of deportation, without a future, is no home at all. That is why we have fought for years to ensure justice is served to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who have called this nation their home. We will continue that struggle under the Biden-Harris Administration supporting those we need to support, pushing where we need to push, lifting those individuals and the legislative and executive actions we need to lift, and ensuring all of us can finally say ‘We Are Home’,” said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director.
Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network
“Now is the time for transformative change. Fairness, freedom and opportunity should be at the core of our immigration system, but our current system isn’t set up to uphold these values, instead, people are deprived of their liberty, separated from their loved ones, and put at risk in ICE custody. Biden’s initial actions on immigration policy are a welcome departure from the racism and xenophobia of the Trump era. Now it will be crucial for the administration to continue to take action to undo the criminalization and punitive nature of the immigration detention system.”
“While a new day in the White House has begun for our community with the start of the Biden-Harris administration, we stand alongside DREAMers, undocumented essential workers and all immigrants with hope and pledge to hold our elected leaders from the Oval Office to Congress accountable to prioritize the needs of our community, who have been directly impacted by the inhumane and violent policies over the last four years,” said Richard Morales, political director of Faith in Action and director of the LA RED campaign. “This is our moment to build a new, just immigration system and ensure a path to citizenship is solidified for the 11 million members of our community who deserve to live without the fear of being torn from their families or barred from basic freedoms. We are proud to continue to fight for our community alongside our fierce partners with the ‘We Are Home’ campaign.”
Lawrence Benito, executive director of ICIRR and a co-chair of the FIRM Network
“It was our organizing and mobilizing of immigrant voters and supporters that brought us to the point where we have a White House, Senate and House of Representatives in a position to take on the immense task of transforming the country’s immigration system. Our multi-racial and multi-generational coalition pushed Joe Biden to unveil a progressive vision on immigration where the 11 million undocumented immigrants have a clear roadmap to citizenship. Now it’s up to Congress to act. We have to work together to make our country a place that is truly home for all of us, not just some of us.”
Maria Praeli, Government Relations Manager, FWD.us
“As a DACA recipient who has lived through the pain and trauma of these last four years, I reflect today as we launch the ‘We Are Home’ campaign not only on the hardships, but also on the resilience and beauty of the undocumented community; how despite the terrible harms visited on us by the Trump Administration, we never stopped believing, contributing, and building in this country we call home. The Biden-Harris Administration has the opportunity to be bold and visionary – to finally provide relief for the beloved undocumented members of our community who have been living with too much uncertainty for far too long by ensuring a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million, including the millions of undocumented essential workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. Our north star goal cannot be just a return to a status quo of a few years prior, or small changes, but rather policy change that upholds the best of what our country must be. We must be committed to reforming our nation’s immigration system; to ensure that all immigrants and those seeking refuge at our borders can live with the dignity and safety they deserve.”
Kerri Talbot, Deputy Director of the Immigration Hub
“The Immigration Hub is proud to join the We Are Home campaign to finally build an immigration system that is humane, fair and functions for everyone. We look forward to working with our partners and the Biden-Harris administration to deliver bold, progressive reforms already supported by an overwhelming majority of the American public. From charting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to reunifying families, the sweeping actions already announced by the Biden-Harris team are an encouraging, critical first step in undoing the harm inflicted by the Trump Administration. With their commitment to reset and rebuild the nation’s immigration system, we urge Congress to meet the moment and, once and for all, pass a transformative immigration plan with a path to citizenship for the countless families who have long called America their home.”
Javier Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York
“Over the last years immigrant youth, families, and workers have led a resilient and powerful movement. We have witnessed the inhumane policies and pain inflicted by the previous administration, but even then, we organized and fought back every step of the way. Now, as we get ready for a new chapter, we are eager to begin the work alongside the We are Home campaign to undo the harm imposed on our communities, ensure a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people and reconstruct our immigration system to be just and humane.”
“Immigrant communities were part of the mobilizing effort to boot Donald Trump out of the White House. Now it is time to get the boot of Trumpism off our neck. Policies targeting immigrants are a core part of the Trump legacy. Restoring dignity and the soul of the nation, as has been pledged by President Biden, requires acknowledgement and action to undo those harms and advance new solutions. We joined the We Are Home campaign to do just that.” Marisa Franco, National Director, Mijente
“Almost 2 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants are Asian American. Asian Americans are also the fastest growing immigrant community and electorate, and we turned out in record numbers this past fall to support a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. Through the We Are Home Coalition, we will organize in unity with the diverse communities for whom America is home to achieve citizenship for all!” –Jung Woo Kim, Organizing Director, DACA recipient, NAKASEC
“This moment was made possible by the hard work and leadership of a multiracial and multigenerational coalition of voters who decisively rejected the hatred and division of the last four years. The Biden administration now has the mandate and the political power to transform our nation’s immigration policies while undoing four years of destructive and harmful actions. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to implement a boldly pro-immigrant agenda, which must include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people who call this country home, and immediate financial relief, access to health care, and other support for all families – including immigrants – struggling under the weight of the pandemic.” – Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
Patrice Lawrence, Co-Executive Director for UndocuBlack Network
“UndocuBlack is a multi-generational network of Black undocumented people across the U.S. and we are still reeling from unspeakable loss, death and deportations of our members and their loved ones during the last four years. We must allow these stories to be the wind in our sails making decisive demands on day one. Moving with that same energy, UndocuBlack firmly believes that we can undo cruelty not only from Trump’s administration but beyond. It will take radical courage but we must not limit ourselves. We must start early to bring real transformative change for our undocumented immigrant communities regardless of the color of our skin, where we live, if we work, how we pray or how old we are. Justice means: ending all deportation flights, closing all detention centers. Dignity means: investing not just in resources but also capacity to process green cards quickly; and abolish the systems that terrorize and spy on us. We implore Congress and the Biden Administration to center immigrants as humans and normalize the idea that legalization for all 11 million people and then some is possible without quid pro quo. We Are Home.”
Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS.
“Immigrants are part of America’s DNA, and we cannot be whole without acknowledging our intertwined past, present and future and building an immigration system our country can be proud of. The We Are Home campaign will bring power and momentum to set our country on the right course, and work with the new Administration and Congress to deliver the fair and humane solutions our communities and the vast majority of our fellow Americans believe in. For too long, a handful of politicians have prevented real debate and progress – it is long past due to allow the solutions the country supports to become a reality, and we recommit ourselves to making it happen.”
Enrique L. Fernández , Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights, UNITE HERE
As an immigrant who came to this country and began my career as a hotel dishwasher, I know the challenges immigrants face and their commitment to making a better life for themselves and their families. Our union, UNITE HERE, represents tens of thousands of immigrant workers who work hard every day to support the hospitality industry. We are happy to join the We Are Home campaign and unions, faith, business and community organizations to bring about the changes workers want and need in our nation’s immigration laws.