“With Immigrants We Rise:” Advocates wrap up week of national action
Editor’s note: Dominique Espinoza, CHN’s Outreach and Engagement Specialist, contributed to this post.
In conjunction with the We Are Home campaign, People’s Action and the Coalition on Human Needs this week launched a national week of action to urge Congress to include Dreamers, immigrants who came here fleeing natural disasters or violence in their home countries, and essential workers, including farmworkers, in the Senate’s budget resolution.
The National “Shared Prosperity: With Immigrants We Rise” week of action seeks a pathway to citizenship for young DACA recipients (young immigrants who were brought here as children, aka “Dreamers”) as well as for the other groups of immigrants mentioned. The week’s activities included targeting Senators in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Maine; a twitterstorm; a phonebank to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) with People’s Action member organization LUCHA; a vigil at the office of Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) by People’s Action member organization Colorado’s People’s Alliance; a summit to pressure Sen. Angus King (I-ME) by People’s Action member organization Maine People’s Alliance; a letter to all 100 members of the U.S. Senate delivered by the Coalition on Human Needs; and a campaign to encourage individuals nationwide to contact their members of Congress, which has so far resulted in more than 47,000 letters.
The twitterstorm – hosted with the help of CHN, People’s Action, Children’s Defense Fund and strongly backed by America’s Voice, the Center on Law and Social Policy and MomsRising – proved particularly popular. Some 3,747 individuals participated, with a total of 4,339 retweets and a potential audience of just under 16 million people reached.
The vigil outside Sen. Hickenlooper’s Denver office was covered by Public News Service, which aired a story on the event on its national news feed as well as on both English and Spanish radio stations throughout the state.
Laura Peniche, hotline manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, told the news agency she has been waiting for comprehensive immigration reform for over 20 years. She wants Hickenlooper to make sure a path to citizenship remains intact inside the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill making its way through Congress.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our leaders to come together and provide relief for the millions of families in this country who are waiting to come out of the shadows and contribute fully to our country,” Peniche contended.
Peniche argued giving immigrants, many of whom who put themselves and their families at great risk during the pandemic, a meaningful way to become U.S. citizens will ensure they can get health benefits and other protections they urgently need.
“A majority of American people want to see a humane immigration system that works for everyone,” Peniche asserted. “We are just like you, human beings who are children of God, who deserve dignity and respect.”
Meanwhile, allied organizations welcomed the vote by the Senate to include a pathway to citizenship and other protections for immigrants in the budget reconciliation resolution that passed the upper chamber on Wednesday.
“This vote is a major step forward,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice. “The momentum is building. The country is ready….This is the year, finally, for a historic legislative breakthrough on immigration.”
“All year, we have been pushing the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress to go big and bold on a pathway to citizenship,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director, United We Dream and We Are Home Co-Chair. “This step forward is a big deal, it is a culmination of the work so many Black and brown immigrants have done to fight for this moment. We are on the precipice of providing citizenship to so many undocumented Black and brown immigrants.”
Added Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights:
“We rejoice as we are one step closer to ensuring immigrants and their families have the recognition and pathway to citizenship that they have long deserved….We are part of the United States, we live in and contribute to these communities, not because we want to belong, but because we already do.”