Sara Londardo,, 202-412-2153

Issued March 26, 2019

SEIU’S Sáenz: Congress must pass the DREAM and SECURE Acts to keep families together and build stronger communities

WASHINGTON, D.C.— SEIU International Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement on the Senate’s introduction of the DREAM Act—which will provide permanent relief from deportation and a path to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. as children—and the SECURE Act—which will do the same for individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who were granted legal status years ago when their countries of origin became patently unsafe because of natural disaster or civil strife:

“SEIU enthusiastically supports the Senate reintroduction of the DREAM Act and the SECURE Act. These two bills are urgently needed to allow people who have grown up in the U.S. or have lived and worked here legally for years to remain with their families and thrive without fear of deportation.

“Not only will this legislation result in higher wages, better working conditions and stronger communities for everyone, it will also prevent yet another family separation crisis by stopping the deportation of young people and parents who have become part of our nation’s fabric after years of living and working in the U.S. There is nothing temporary about the lives they have spent decades building here—including having children, buying homes, paying taxes, starting businesses and investing in their communities.

“Most Americans agree that thousands of our co-workers, neighbors, and friends should be able to remain with their families, children and jobs. We need these pieces of legislation to help members like Teanke Tarwai, who will be forced to sell her home, give up her job as a licensed nurse, and leave her family after over two decades of legally living and working in the U.S. once DED protections expire at the end of this week.

“We need Congress to act on the will of the people, instead of relying on temporary court injunctions that could be vacated at any time. It’s time for politicians to stop using a costly border wall and funding for an agency that is already awash in money as a bargaining chip and quit using the immigration issue to divide and distract working people. We will continue to use our collective power to fight for an America that is welcoming to all people and stand up for men and women—no matter where they were born—who want and deserve the same things: economic stability and security for our families.”