AUSTIN, TX – FWD.us Texas State Immigration Director Zaira Garcia issued the following statement today following President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress:
“Providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals, including Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers, is one of the most popular bipartisan issues amongst voters. This is because voters understand the integral role and importance immigrants play in our communities and economy. And I thank President Joe Biden for addressing and prioritizing the need for this reform during his Joint Address. First Lady Jill Biden also recognized the importance of reform, Dreamers, and undocumented essential workers by inviting nurse, DACA recipient, and father Javier R. Quiroz Castro, who has been sacrificing his safety as he fights on the front lines of the pandemic, as her guest to the address. Today, Javier and about 30,600 other essential DACA workers in Texas live in a constant state of limbo with no certainty or permanent pathway to citizenship, despite filling critical roles in their communities and – for individuals like Javier – caring directly for COVID-19 patients. As a lifelong Texan with deep ties to the immigrant community, I’ve seen firsthand how they have stepped up to the frontlines for the state and communities they love. President Biden must continue to work with Congress on this paramount issue. Continued failure to act puts families at threat of separation and jeopardizes the Lone Star State’s health and economic well-being.
“There are 930,000 undocumented immigrant essential workers who have been contributing to our COVID-19 response and recovery in Texas as teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, and more, just like Javier. Further, Texas immigrants have long been contributing to our economy as business owners, economic invigorators, integral workforce members, and taxpayers, and to our communities as friends, family members, and neighbors. They are valuable to our state for many reasons and should be afforded the opportunity to earn a pathway to citizenship to match their contributions and importance to our state. A reformed, humane, and fair immigration system that keeps families safe and together and encourages economic growth is long overdue. This would benefit everyone in the Lone Star State, and I urge Congress to heed the call of President Biden and most Americans to finally pass much-needed immigration reform legislation.”