|In full transparency the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – Members of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition joined Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey in a virtual press conference today, December 8, to call for Congress to ensure that a permanent pathway to citizenship is included in the final Build Back Better legislation.
“Our communities, allies and advocates have worked tirelessly to support this legislation, which aims to deliver critical relief and investment in communities across the country,” said Joel Rivera, MIRA’s Director of Organizing. “One of the core promises and essential pillars of Build Back Better has been the creation of a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the U.S. without legal status who have been on the front lines of pandemic and essential to our recovery. Our communities have fought to see this legislation through the reconciliation process and we ask Congress to fulfill the commitments they’ve made. We are calling on the Senate to integrate a pathway to citizenship via registry into this bill, even if it means setting aside the recommendation of the parliamentarian, who holds an unelected advisory role.”
“The United States is a nation of immigrants, built by those coming to our shores to create better lives. I am fighting to include a pathway to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act for the millions of undocumented immigrants who call this country home,” said Senator Ed Markey. “Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other essential workers have been waiting for far too long. We must act now.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren also contributed a statement of support: “We could not have made it through the pandemic without immigrants, who have played a vital role on the front lines for almost two years. If this country truly plans to Build Back better, it must include protections for immigrants in the reconciliation package. It is long past time to fulfill these promises to immigrant communities.”
“Millions of undocumented immigrants across this country have lived here for years or even decades,” said Heloisa Maria Galvão, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Brazilian Women’s Group, a MIRA member organization. “A pathway to citizenship through registry gives immigrants and their families a chance to build a sustainable future free from the fear of deportation and detention, allowing them to work, obtain an education, and raise their families.”
“Our coalition calls for the Senate to recognize the critical and irreplaceable role played by immigrants in every essential sector of our workforce, a fact made even clearer by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gabriel Camacho, Political Director of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445. “It’s time for us to take the next step we’ve been fighting to achieve for years and provide the path needed for every immigrant in this country to participate fully in our economy and society.”
“We are asking this country to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of those who have worked hardest to become part of this nation and build toward its future,” said Geralde V. Gabeau, Executive Director of the Immigrant Family Services Institute. “The Senate and this nation have the chance to recognize and safeguard some of the most vital, and vulnerable, communities in our nation.”