California Latino Caucus Chair, Vice-Chair Respond to Introduction of Citizenship for Essential Workers Act
SACRAMENTO - Today, US Senators Alex Padilla (D-California) & Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and US Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) & Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) introduced the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act. The bill would provide a clear pathway to citizenship for more than five million undocumented essential workers. In response to the introduction of the bill, California Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and Vice-Chair Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) issued the following statements:
"The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act is what America owes our undocumented essential workers who have risked and sacrificed so much over the last year," said Senator Durazo. "Three out of every four undocumented workers is an essential worker. These are the people who have done the jobs that cannot be done remotely and have kept our economy running. They and their families have paid a steep price for their work on the frontlines, and the lack of workplace protections and healthcare accessibility has been a major reason why the Latino community has been so adversely impacted by COVID-19. Clapping on our doorsteps is not enough. We need to show these workers that they are valued, and there is no better way than a pathway to citizenship."
"This pandemic has made clear how indispensable our undocumented workforce is to our economy," said Assemblymember Rivas. "Over 5 million undocumented workers in the United States have jobs that are designated essential. As the Vice-Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, I can attest to undocumented farmworkers being the reason why we have not experienced a food shortage during this pandemic. We are dependent on their backbreaking work for food, yet farmworkers have been excluded from basic human services like federal stimulus aid and food assistance to feed their own families. The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act will correct these injustices and honor their sacrifices by providing a pathway to citizenship for these essential workers. They’ve earned it, and it’s the least we can do for them as a nation."
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