WASHINGTON, DC — In his inaugural Joint Address to Congress, President Biden pledged to overhaul the broken immigration system and urged lawmakers to pass a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement:
“Tonight, President Biden made clear the urgent need to provide millions of deserving immigrants with a desperately needed pathway to citizenship that will keep families across the country safe and together. Millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other undocumented immigrants have been vital to our nation’s continued health response and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. They have deep roots in our communities as our neighbors, colleagues and friends, and nearly 6 million U.S. citizen children live with an undocumented family member. Undocumented people are essential to our nation in every sense of the word.
“This can and must be the time to act.
“The House has already taken the important first step to help keep these families together in our communities and ensure they can continue to help the response and recovery from COVID-19. The weeks ahead will be a critical time for Congress to deliver the meaningful solutions on immigration policy that Americans across party lines want and expect. Not only is passing a pathway to citizenship the right thing to do, but numerous respected pollsters have continued to find that this is smart politics. President Biden outlined tonight why he is going to continue to ensure that Congress prioritizes a long-overdue pathway to citizenship.
“This is a historic moment, and people across the country are looking to their leaders to finally deliver real and lasting solutions that keep families together and ensure our communities and economy can thrive.
“We cannot wait. The time is now.”
Earlier today, a coalition of immigration advocacy groups announced a new $50 million campaign aimed at pressuring lawmakers from both parties to pass a pathway to citizenship. The effort includes a $30 million commitment from the “We Are Home” campaign led by advocacy organizations, as well as a $20 million commitment from a handful of other immigration groups including FWD.us.
This effort to underscore the importance of a pathway to citizenship kicks off with a $1.5 million television and digital ad campaign from “We Are Home,” which will launch on Saturday across five states and Washington, D.C., accompanied by digital ads running in six more states.
Among the one million Dreamers who would be put on a pathway to citizenship if Congress passes legislation is Javier Quiroz Castro, a DACA recipient and frontline nurse who spent months tending to patients and saving lives in a COVID-19 unit at Houston Methodist West Hospital in Texas. Every day, Javier worries about being separated from his wife and infant daughter, both United States citizens.
New polling from Garin-Hart-Yang/Global Strategy Group/LD Insights, as well as Anzalone List/Center Forward, Public Opinion Strategies (GOP) poll and Data For Progress all show that a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants remains incredibly popular with a range of 75% to 66% in support. The popularity of these proposals show that these are not only good policy, but good politics. Ultimately, citizenship for the undocumented population is a consensus issue, not a divisive one.
READ MORE FROM FWD.us: President Biden should seize the opportunity to lead on citizenship legislation