Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi,
We, the undersigned civil rights and social justice organizations, commend Democratic leadership for the inclusion in the budget resolution of a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic. As organizations that work together to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential, we firmly believe that the inclusion of a path to legality and eventual citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and farmworkers and essential immigrant workers, is an integral component toward our national recovery.
We urge you to stay the course and not let up. It will take all of us, citizen and immigrant alike, to build a stronger and more equitable country as we emerge from the pandemic. Therefore, it is just common sense to advance this measure, which will bolster America’s ability to recover and rebuild while bringing much needed stability to the situation of millions of immigrants and the citizens and legal permanent residents in their families. Nearly six million children live with an undocumented loved one, including 400,000 U.S. citizen kids who have a parent with DACA or TPS.
Immediate legislative action is particularly needed after the recent court decision on DACA, which once again disrupts the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth who have been raised here and see this country as their own. Thousands of DACA recipients are essential workers, and part of the estimated 5.2 million undocumented immigrants who have served in critical functions, from agriculture to medicine, as the pandemic raged on. The reality is that their contributions to the social and economic progress of the nation long predates the pandemic.
You now have a historic opportunity and responsibility to take action and deliver on a path to citizenship, a solution nearly 80% of Americans support. While many of us have worked towards a congressional bipartisan agreement, and public support is bipartisan, Republicans in Congress remain determined to foil progress. Fortunately, there is precedent for the inclusion of immigration in reconciliation, and Democrats have the numbers to deliver it.
As 82 mayors from cities in 28 states recently conveyed to you, “[t]he only way we can truly Build Back Better is to ensure that Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers are included in any economic recovery legislation including through budget reconciliation.” We wholeheartedly agree. The time to act is now, and our organizations will continue to work to make this humane and popular solution a reality this year and hold accountable those who prevent it.