September 13, 2021

Neguse Leads Congressional Black Caucus in Letter Calling for Pathway to Citizenship in Final Reconciliation Bill

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, led members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer that calls for a pathway to citizenship to be included in the final version of the reconciliation bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act. The letter highlights the way in which the pandemic has exacerbated already difficult situations for migrant communities and urges congressional leadership to take advantage of this historic opportunity to deliver a just and equitable recovery.

“Whether on the front lines of fighting the disease as medical professionals or on the front lines of maintaining our food supply as farm workers, [undocumented immigrants] have contributed to the stability of the United States and will continue to be critical to any successful economic recovery,” wrote Congressman Neguse and his colleagues. “Providing a pathway to citizenship will have a significant economic impact.”

Over the course of the pandemic, an estimated 5.2 million undocumented immigrants have been deemed ‘essential workers’ and have played vital roles in the country’s pandemic survival. Further, some estimates predict that providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other undocumented essential workers boost U.S. Gross Domestic Product by more than $1 trillion and create hundreds of thousands of jobs over 10 years.

The son of African refugees, Congressman Neguse has long advocated for immigration reform and is a dedicated supporter of immigrants and Dreamers. In July, he wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas seeking answers regarding months long DACA renewal processing delays. The current backlog of over 55,000 cases, he argued, is unacceptable and prevents Dreamers 

 

from achieving the economic security that the program was meant to provide. 

During his first term, Neguse argued passionately on the floor for a permanent path to citizenship for dreamers and brought a DACA student from Colorado State University to the State of the Union as his guest.

Read the full letter HERE and below:

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The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                  The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Speaker of the House of Representatives                               Senate Majority Leader
United States House of Representatives                                 United States Senate 
H-232, The Capitol                                                                 S-221, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                        Washington, D.C. 20515

 Dear Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer: 

 As members of the Congressional Black Caucus, we write to reiterate our strong support for including a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, essential immigrant workers, farm workers, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in the final version of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. 

Undocumented immigrants have been crucial in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. Whether on the front lines of fighting the disease as medical professionals or on the front lines of maintaining our food supply as farm workers, these professionals have contributed to the stability of the United States and will continue to be critical to any successful economic recovery. In fact, an estimated 5.2 million undocumented immigrants are considered essential workers , of which nearly one million are Dreamers under the 2019 American Dream and Promise Act.  

Providing a pathway to citizenship will have a significant economic impact. Economic scholars estimate that providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and other essential workers will boost U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $1.5 trillion over 10 years . Other estimates suggest that during the same 10-year period additional benefits include wage increases for all workers, the creation of over 400,000 new jobs , and billions of dollars in additional tax revenue.  

The pandemic has exacerbated deep racial, gender, and economic inequities, so it is imperative that we take this opportunity to ease those divides and begin working towards an equitable recovery. Including broad language that provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, essential immigrant workers, farm workers, and TPS holders will begin to do just that. We urge you to ensure that this language is included the final text of the reconciliation bill.   

Sincerely, 

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