Voto Latino Strongly Supports Introduction of The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act
Economy-boosting Act would provide undocumented essential workers with fast, accessible, secure path to U.S. citizenship
Washington, DC – Members of the United States Senate and House today introduced legislation to help ensure the pandemic-ravaged U.S. economy’s recovery is fair and inclusive for all residents contributing to it.
“No single person is more vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19 death than the undocumented, essential grocery store clerk, farmworker, healthcare aide or construction worker,” said María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “They and many others have helped keep our economy from ruin, and America should recognize their critical contributions by quickly passing The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act into law. It is the humane and single act of grace that a grateful nation can do.”
Introduced by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), the Act would offer undocumented essential workers with an accessible and secure track to citizenship, starting with an immediate adjustment of status of those workers to legal permanent resident, a step sorely needed as COVID-19’s long and lethal shadow continues to darken the nation. A recent McKinsey report notes that the nation’s 60 million Hispanics and Latinos – many whom work, or have worked, in front-line jobs – “have experienced a disproportionate share of the health and economic effects of the pandemic…are about three times more likely than white residents to test positive for the virus, experience more challenges with accessing care, and are more economically vulnerable.”
“Congress’s own CARES Act, designed to bring relief to our working families, cruelly left out 20 percent of the Latino workforce, including U.S. citizens living with undocumented loved ones,” Kumar added. “At a time when 60 percent of Latinos are under 34 years old, many will miss some of their best earning years.
“It’s time for Congress to right these wrongs, recognize these workers’ value to America’s economy and society, and pass this Act – now.”
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.