March 25, 2021
The Honorable Joseph Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden,
We write to you today as co-chairs of the We Are Home immigrant rights campaign, leaders of organizations representing millions of members across the United States, and progressive champions, to follow up on our letter dated January 29, 2021 to strongly urge you to include a path to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, and essential workers and their families in your upcoming Build Back Better economic recovery package.
Your administration has the ability right now to secure citizenship for millions of immigrants, provide basic human rights and a fair economic playing field for tens of millions of families, and seize this historic moment to make the most important and positive transformation of the immigration system in modern history.
We share your vision of Building Back Better and fully endorse your commitment to advance racial equity across the American economy. And like you, we know that immigrant communities have been the frontlines of fighting COVID-19—and tragically been devastated over the last year. Black, Indigenous, and other people of color have been disproportionately hammered by both the coronavirus pandemic and the economic devastation that it brought to American
communities. That is no less true for undocumented immigrants in this country—93 percent of whom are people of color—who have also been largely left out of prior COVID-19 relief bills.
There are today an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants in the country’s essential workforce who risk their lives and the lives of their families every day to keep the country running. Providing a path to citizenship for these individuals and their families recognizes not only the sacrifices they have made for all Americans over the past year—and, in truth, for many more years before that—but also the important role we will need them to continue to play in America’s great comeback.
Policies to provide a pathway to citizenship to essential workers and their families, Dreamers and TPS holders are inextricably linked to America’s recovery as they would increase wages and productivity throughout the U.S. economy, create jobs, generate additional tax revenue, strengthen worker protections for immigrant and native workers alike, and lift many families out of poverty.
Additionally, these measures have overwhelming bipartisan support . A recent national poll conducted by Global Strategy Group, Garin-Hart-Yang and LD, Insights in partnership with FWD.us and America’s Voice found the Dream Act to have 72% support, and citizenship for undocumented essential workers to have 66% support. Even a new poll released Tuesday by a leading Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, points to the overwhelming popularity of these provisions, with nearly 3-1 support for a pathway to citizenship.
We have been heartened by your leadership in introducing the US Citizenship Act which would take essential steps to build a fair, humane and functional immigration system, and very much appreciate your support for the Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act, legislation which recently passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
We are also, like you, very aware of the obstacles all these measures currently face in the United States Senate, and that it has been more than three decades since passage of legislation securing the protections and responsibilities of citizenship for millions of immigrants.
Earlier this year, more than 500 national, state, and local organizations wrote to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to urge them to use all necessary legislative tools to include in coronavirus relief and economic recovery legislation permanent protection and a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers and their families. Please find enclosed a copy of that letter.
Today we reiterate that same ask of you. The only way our country can truly Build Back Better
is if America’s recovery leaves no one behind.
Lorella Praeli & Dorian Warren, Community Change/Community Change Action
Ai-jen Poo & Jess Morales Rocketto, National Domestic Workers Alliance/Care in Action
Rocio Sáenz, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Teresa Romero, United Farm Workers (UFW)
Greisa Martínez Rosas, United We Dream
John Podesta, Center for American Progress
We Are Home is led by national organizations and networks including Community Change/Action, United We Dream, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Farm Workers (UFW), America’s Voice, Detention Watch Network, LA RED/Faith in Action, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)-Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), CASA, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Make the Road NY, FWD.us, Immigration Hub, Mijente, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), UndocuBlack, UnidosUS and UNITEHERE. Alongside more than one hundred partner organizations, We Are Home represents tens of millions of people across the country.