Latino Caucus Leadership Responds to Biden-Harris Immigration Plan
SACRAMENTO - Yesterday, on his first day in office, President Joe Biden sent a major immigration proposal to Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living across the United States. Approximately two million Californians are undocumented immigrants.
The Biden administration also released their plans to protect and strengthen DACA protections, including a push to create an immediate path to citizenship for these young immigrants who've grown up in the United States.
"Just a day into this administration, there is hope for the 11 million undocumented immigrants across the United States to be able to pursue their American Dream and live normal lives without fear of deportation," said Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. "Undocumented immigrants - including more than 2 million Californians - have been under relentless attack for the last four years, and it is so important the Biden-Harris administration is prioritizing comprehensive immigration reform on Day 1. And this is not only the right thing to do from a civil rights standpoint. This will bring millions of workers out of the underground wage-theft economy and they will finally get paid what they deserve. They will become more significant contributors to the economy. The sooner we are able to provide legal status and then citizenship to these millions of people, the greater the economic impacts will be for all."
"As the grandchild of immigrant farmworkers, I applaud President Joe Biden for taking immediate action to create a pathway to citizenship for our 11 million undocumented residents and for reversing many of the harmful immigration policies of the previous administration," said Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), Vice Chair of the Latino Caucus. "From reversing the Muslim ban, to protecting DACA, to stopping the wasteful and xenophobic border wall project, these executive orders are critical to uplifting our immigrant communities. For four years, hard-working immigrants of all stripes felt the sting of exclusion and dehumanization with policies that alienated and oppressed their existence in this country. Thank you, President Biden, for demonstrating your commitment to reversing this tide on day one of your new administration. Your policies are important for the progress of our entire country because when we enact equity for our undocumented neighbors, all Americans benefit."
Undocumented adults make up nearly 1/10th of California's workforce and contribute over $3 billion in local and state taxes, yet are excluded from the life-saving safety net programs they contribute to. Studies show that 92% of undocumented California adults are working; however, the lack of insurance contributes to lost productivity and costly health emergencies.
Under the plan, titled the US Citizenship Act of 2021, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, agricultural workers and undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children would be eligible to apply for green cards immediately and for full citizenship after three years.
Other eligible undocumented immigrants would be able to apply for work permits and temporary deportation relief. After five years, they could apply for permanent resident status, and then apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens after another three years.
Michael Tonetti - firstname.lastname@example.org - (213) 280-6917
Elizabeth Stitt - email@example.com - (916) 802-1276