María Ponce,, 202-394-2139

Issued March 05, 2021

SEIU’s Sáenz: Momentum is building towards citizenship for essential workers

Congress must take bold action and deliver long-overdue legislation

WASHINGTON—SEIU International Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement in response to the introduction of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act in the House of Representatives by Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), and Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and Dan Newhouse (WA-4):

“We are excited about this legislation that continues to build momentum for long-overdue comprehensive, fair and humane solutions that provide a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are contributing to our economy, communities, and this great nation -- including many farmworkers and the hundreds of thousand of Dreamers and TPS holders who are deemed essential by our government. Together these two bills would provide a roadmap to citizenship for more than 3 million immigrants.

“The American Dream and Promise Act will give peace of mind to SEIU Local 2015 member and Dreamer, Monica Torres.  Monica is an In-Home Supportive Services provider and essential worker with three U.S. citizen kids.  She takes pride in the care she provides to her clients and if this legislation passes, she can finally plan for her future and watch her children grow without the fear of one day being separated from them.  America is home to Monica and has been for most of her life.

“SEIU-Workers United and TPS holder, Onys Sierra, mother of a DACA recipient and grandmother of two U.S. Citizen kids would also greatly benefit from this legislation. Onys also prides herself as an essential worker working at an industrial laundromat facility making sure medical uniforms are disinfected and washed properly.

“It’s time for all essential workers, no matter our race, our job, where we live, or country of origin are respected, protected, paid a living wage and have a right to join a union.  We therefore urge Congress to move these bills and other bills such as the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, forward as soon as possible.”