Maria Ponce

Issued February 18, 2021

SEIU’s Sáenz: The time for bold action on immigration is now

Now it’s up to Congress to lead and keep families together


WASHINGTON—SEIU International Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which includes a roadmap to the estimated 10.5 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the U.S:

“Introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act by Senator Menendez and Representative Sanchez and their cosponsors is an exciting moment in our history. This legislation represents a bold and long overdue reenvisioning of our nation’s approach to immigration policy that recognizes the huge contributions immigrants make each and every day, and is based on the proposition that their contribution will be even greater if they are treated fairly and humanely. We look forward to the opportunity to delve into the details.

“In addition to the broad legalization that the bill would provide, SEIU welcomes the provisions that fast track citizenship for Dreamers, people with TPS, and farmworkers, as well as important provisions designed to reduce exploitation of immigrants at the workplace, reunite families, improve immigrant integration, and expand diversity visas that allow immigrants from Africa and elsewhere to come here legally. We also appreciate the bill’s focus on addressing the root causes of migration from troubled lands.

“It is critical that this bill or other bills that would provide a roadmap to citizenship for large numbers of immigrants -- such as the Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act -- are able to move forward as soon as possible. We also strongly support the idea of legalizing essential workers as a necessary part of COVID recovery.

“After decades of lost opportunities, we hope that something special can be enacted in this Congress, and under this president, that will transform the lives of millions of immigrants and in the process move our nation closer to our ideals and make all of us more prosperous.”