57 civil and human rights organizations urge Biden administration, Congress to maintain citizenship pathway for immigrants in budget reconciliation bill

By email

Re: Keeping a Path to Citizenship for Immigrant Communities in the Reconstructing Better Reconciliation Bill

Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, Majority Leader Schumer and President Pelosi,

We, the undersigned 57 civil and human rights organizations, are writing to urge you to prioritize maintaining a path to citizenship for immigrants in the budget reconciliation bill. Deep-rooted immigrants, including those who arrived in the United States as children and who may benefit from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), those who have fled violence and other crises and who currently have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Delayed Enforced Departure (DED), and those who have maintained the U.S. economy during the pandemic by serving as essential workers – deserve lasting protection from eviction and the possibility to live freely with their families and in their communities, protecting basic rights and fueling American businesses and the national economy.

The Fiscal Reconciliation Bill remains the most viable opportunity to finally proceed with this reform of the unfair United States immigration system. We urge you not to let the obstacles posed by one individual, be it a Senate parliamentarian or a congressman, derail the moral imperative of finally achieving citizenship.

This is a critical time to reset the global leadership of the United States. Countries around the world continue to question how to handle the movement of people within and outside their borders due to climate change, poverty, inequality, conflict and other crises. Right now, the United States is setting a bad example and not leading by example. Inside the country, it has relegated millions of undocumented, disproportionately colored people to a permanent underclass, trapping them in a life of systematic disadvantage and vulnerability to discrimination and discrimination. operation. At the border, thousands of people, including black migrants and asylum seekers, face rights violations due to Title 42’s deportation policy and other political failures.

You can help the United States and other countries change course. Creating a path to citizenship for people with deep roots in the United States sends a powerful message to the world: it reaffirms that human rights are universal and that all human beings equally deserve dignity and fairness. . Let this message be the Biden administration’s response to the xenophobia, harassment and abuse that have become the hallmarks of far too many government responses to migration.

If the inclusion of a path to citizenship in the budget reconciliation bill would be grow the economy billions of dollars is also a matter of fundamental fairness and the protection of rights. The people who built lives, homes and families in the United States, many of whom served as essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, have long been vulnerable to discrimination, work abuse and denial of equal protection under the law because of their immigration status. Their long-term relegation to subclass status violates the fundamental principles of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as well as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights treaties. of man that the United States has ratified. Indeed, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN Secretary General called on states around the world to legalize undocumented immigrants in the spirit of an inclusive public health approach and in recognition of their important contributions during this crisis.

Expanding the possibilities of obtaining citizenship will make the United States safer and fairer for everyone. In the workplace, employers often exploit workers’ fear of immigration law enforcement to deter them from reporting abuse, and they retaliate against those who do. It affects both immigrants and citizens; the US government cannot adequately protect the safety of all workers unless its immigration policies ensure that immigrant workers are able to speak out and report abuse by employers. Likewise, when immigrants and their families live in fear of deportation, they are much less likely to seek and receive police protection and support law enforcement investigations into serious crimes.undermine public safety for everyone.

The establishment of a pathway to citizenship would offer important protections to those currently caught in this overly severe deportation system. Regardless of immigration status, the United States has an obligation to protect human and civil rights, including the right to family unity and the right to due process. However, these rights are routinely violated within the United States immigration and deportation system, which in most cases places no weight or weight on immigrants’ ties to their home and family. Even where immigrants are able to obtain an individualized hearing, under US law, these factors in most cases have no legal relevance in deciding whether the person should be deported from the country. A generous path to citizenship that gives due weight to immigrants’ ties to the United States is one of the most effective ways to deal with the threat of deportation and separation for unauthorized immigrants, ahead of reform in depth of US immigration laws.

Taking a path to citizenship for immigrant communities now, this year is a deeply meaningful step towards a vision of a just and inclusive United States. The process and procedures by which you do it is up to you, but we ask you to seize this historic opportunity to right persistent injustices and to legally recognize as Americans the many immigrants whose deep roots in the United States inextricably tie them to this. country.

If you have any questions, please contact Clara Long at Human Rights Watch ([email protected]), Naureen Shah at ACLU ([email protected]) and Rob Randhava and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (Randhava @ civilrights .org).


Human Rights Watch
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Alliance for Quality Education
American Association of Persons with Disabilities
American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industry Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Friends Service Committee
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advance Justice | AAJC
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Church world service
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Common defense
Disciples Ministries of Refugees and Immigration
Earth justice
Equal Justice Society
Faith in public life
Committee of Friends on National Legislation
Global Justice Center
Groundswell Action Fund
Haitian du Pont Alliance
Human rights first
Immigrants Rising, a community initiatives project
Impact Fund
League of Japanese American Citizens
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish progressive action
Justice for migrant women
Labor Council for the Promotion of Latin America
League of Conservation Voters
League of United Citizens of Latin America (LULAC)
League of Women Voters of the United States
Matthew Shepard Foundation
National Coalition for Black Justice
National Council of Jewish Women
National Alliance of Domestic Workers
National Association of Education
National labor law project
National Center for Immigrant Justice
Oxfam America
Public justice
Support for children
Qualified majority
The workers’ circle
UndocuBlack Network
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
United we dream
Voice of the Frontera
Women’s rights project
Refugee Women’s Commission
Woodhull Foundation for Freedom
Equity in the workplace

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