CHN’s Podcast Episode 5: Securing Pathway To Citizenship & Immigration Reform


September 29, 2021


There is no better time than now to lend your voice to the fight to secure a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants! That’s why this week’s episode of the Voices for Human Needs podcast is all about the ongoing efforts of grassroots advocates, allies in Congress, and directly impacted communities across the country to finally passing legislation that protects millions of Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and essential immigrant workers from deportation. You’ll hear from long-time immigration advocates Lia Parada, who currently serves as the Director of Legislative Advocacy at The Immigration Hub, and Diana Pliego, a DACA recipient herself, and Policy Associate with the National Immigration Law Center.

Lia and Diana share how programs like DACA demonstrate the profound benefits that legal status has to support the educational and professional ambitions of millions of young and talented people. We also discuss why a pathway to citizenship for the millions of essential contributors to the U.S. economy is long overdue and must be fulfilled by members of Congress. Listen in to learn how anyone can take action at the grassroots and federal policy levels to urge Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship in the upcoming budget process and infrastructure legislation. 


Listen to our show wherever you get your podcasts (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more)! Follow and subscribe to receive notifications when we release a new episode, and if you haven’t already, check out our past episodes. The full transcript of this podcast episode is available here.


In order to be passed through the reconciliation bill, advocates and lawmakers are making the argument that creating a pathway to citizenship will indeed have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. A report by the Center for American Progress found that if Congress provides a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented people in the U.S., the country’s gross domestic product, or GDP, would increase by $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years and create nearly half a million new jobs.

Advocates are working with members of Congress toward creating a pathway to citizenship for four groups specifically: Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as children, farmworkers, essential workers, and temporary protected status (TPS) holders or those who are unable to return to their countries of origin. Finally securing a pathway to citizenship for these groups would provide lasting protection and security for those who currently live with constant uncertainty and the looming threat of deportation, despite being essential contributors to our communities and the U.S. economy.

Diana Pliego speaks to why securing a pathway to citizenship is long overdue for millions of immigrants: “We need to ensure that we give immigrants the protections that we have deserved for a long time…I think this year really showed us how immigrants are still continuously left out of things. Even when immigrants in a lot of cases are part of the essential workforce that has kept the country afloat, not just during this pandemic, but long beforehand. The fact is that we are all in this together and that if anyone is left out, then we’re not going to recover.”

There just isn’t a lot of time,” Lia Parada adds, noting how critical this moment in time is to move the needle on immigration reform: “no one knows what the next Congress will hold. So using this opportunity, the urgency of now, to getting something done is really important.”


Both the National Immigration Law Center and The Immigration Hub are on the steering committee of the We Are Home campaign: a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational coalition calling upon the Biden administration and Congress to take immediate actions on immigration reform. 

Lia speaks more to the current strategies of immigration advocates as it relates to securing a pathway to citizenship and encourages listeners to find their entry point into advocating on behalf of themselves, their families, or neighbors: “It has to be all hands on deck…directly impacted people to The Hill, ads on TV, showing up for mobilization days of actions, town halls, round tables, like all of the things for us, it’s, you know, We Are Home is dedicated to all of the above strategies to get this done.”


Now is the time to urge representatives in Congress to explore every mechanism available to them to deliver a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

Find actions you can take below, starting with forwarding this podcast episode to a friend, or colleague! 

  • Sign CHN’s petition and tell Congress to pass the most critical investments in our future since the New Deal. 


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