18 Feb Center for Popular Democracy Network’s Statement on the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021
Center for Popular Democracy Network’s Statement on the U.S.
Citizenship Act of 2021
Statement issued by Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of Center for Popular Democracy and affiliated organizations of the network
“Today we celebrate the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a bill that lays out President Biden’s vision for reforming our broken and inhumane immigration system. This bill represents not only a departure from Trump’s white-supremacist immigration policies, but most importantly, it represents a new direction for reforming our immigration system grounded in a vision of an inclusive society. The introduction of such a progressive legislation is a testament of the power and tenacity of immigrant communities and allies that have organized for decades to protect our families and to demand an end to the deportation machine.
But the introduction of this bill is only the first step. Now, President Biden and Democrats in congress must use their power to ensure that the vision laid out in this bill is realized, starting with inclusion of immigrant youth, TPS holders and essential workers in the next COVID relief package.
We look forward to working with the White House, and our champions in Congress, to use every opportunity to make sure that we are advancing policies that prioritize the safety and dignity of all immigrants, and significantly shift away from the punitive and harmful detention and deportation system”
Below please find additional quotes from leaders in Center for Popular Democracy’s network:
“I have called the United States home for nearly two decades. I’ve worked hard to raise my two kids—one a DACA recipient and the other, a U.S. citizen—here in New Jersey. Today’s introduction of the Citizenship Act of 2021 demonstrates the strength of our movement— we won’t stop fighting until all 11 million undocumented people are on a pathway to citizenship. I am also filled with hope that I won’t fear being separated from my children for the first time since I came to this country. I thank Senator Menendez and President Biden for their leadership and urge our representatives to pass this legislation as soon as possible.” Angeles Barranco, Make the Road NJ member, Union City, N.J.
“My family is happy. Our two oldest daughters and youngest two sons are U.S. citizens. My husband finally achieved permanent residency. Now, our middle daughter and I are next! After so many years, living with uncertainty, especially after this past administration, we are hopeful about all of us finally having the same status together. We are so happy that many other families in our situation will have an opportunity to do the same. Now, it is up to North Carolina Senators Burr and Tillis and North Carolina’s congressional delegates to do the right thing and support our president.” Silvia Sanchez, Action NC board member
“For decades, immigrants like me have worked in farms all over the country with fear that one day we would be deported. During COVID-19, we have stayed in the fields exposing ourselves to the virus so that others could be able to stay home protected. We did this knowing that if anything happened to us, we would get no support. I know that my work is essential and that I deserve dignity. For this reason, I look forward to the passage of this bill so all immigrants can live in peace in the place they call home.” Martha Lopez, PCUN Member and Community Organizer in Oregon
Clara Cortes, member of Make the Road New York, said, “This bill brings me hope for a better future. For over twenty years, I have waited for Congress to pass legislation like this. Immigrants like me have built our lives and our families here. This country is our home. Over the last year, while facing the constant risk of being torn from our loved ones, immigrants like me have also been trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. My husband has been hospitalized for almost a year after contracting the virus, and every time I see him, he worries about me since because of my lack of immigration status, I could be separated from my family. Today, I am happy to see that fixing our immigration system is a priority for the current administration, and it is crucial that Congress quickly acts to make a pathway to citizenship a reality.”
“In Arizona, immigrant communities raised from the ashes of racist law SB1070 to fight back against white supremacist policies, agencies and individuals. Since then, we are committed to push bold and permanent protection for all immigrant communities. We support a plan that provides a pathway for citizenship without the growing deportation forces of ICE and CBP.” – Genesis Renteria member of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA)