NY State & Local Elected Officials Join the NYIC, FIRM, & Local Progress in Demanding President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi Deliver on Legalization of Immigrant Essential Workers

New York, NY-Today, NY State and Local elected officials join the New York Immigration Coalition, FIRM Action, and Local Progress in demanding that President Joseph R. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi deliver on immigration legalization. Currently, nearly 100 local elected officials from across New York State have signed on to the letter, including Democratic nominee for NYC Mayor Eric Adams and Erie County Legislator April Baskin. The letter demands that Congress pass the resolution on the Democrat’s budget reconciliation infrastructure package, which includes a pathway to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status recipients, and immigrant essential workers, including hundreds of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers and to finally realize immigration legalization for millions of undocumented families.

“Our leaders in Washington have an opportunity to finally end the three decades of broken promises and partisan gridlock that has hurt immigrant families and now threatens our economic recovery from this pandemic,” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition. “Today, we heard from New York’s state and local leaders who are standing firm on the need for a pathway to citizenship to ensure the health and safety of New York families and rescue the state’s economy. This letter calls on President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi to take advantage of this historic chance to achieve immigrant justice. We thank Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and President Biden for moving forward budget reconciliation that includes a pathway to citizenship for the millions of hard-working families who are keeping America open for business during this pandemic. Now, we call on them to hold strong and ensure that families have the stability they need to continue to contribute to their communities and thrive.”  

Earlier this month, the Senate Democrats released the text of their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation infrastructure package. The bill earmarks $107 billion to provide a pathway to citizenship via budget reconciliation; Democrats can push through their spending plan with a 51 vote majority. Senate Democrats passed the resolution on the budget reconciliation package. On August 23, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on the resolution as well. 

“As the daughter of an immigrant, I believe that having a clear, defined pathway to citizenship is not only ethical—it is essential,” said state Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55). “Immigrants contribute so much to our communities and culture, and as our federal representatives discuss the budget reconciliation infrastructure bill, it is vital that there is a clear pathway to citizenship so that all families can pursue the opportunities that are inherent to being an American.”

“For far too long, our families have been promised a path to citizenship,” said Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, Chair of the Taskforce on New Americans. “For far too long, our families have put their lives at risk to support our country, not just during the pandemic but even prior. Now it is time to recognize their contributions and finally give them the path to citizenship they deserve, allowing them to live in dignity in the country they call home. We urge our federal leaders and our President to finally meet their commitment to our immigrant communities and turn their promises of a pathway to citizenship into reality.”

“We must develop a pathway to citizenship for the thousands of DREAMers who stand to lose their special status,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “Many of these immigrants have lived their entire lives in the United States and know no other home as their parents sought a better life for them, and their children. Congress and our federal government cannot abandon them now when they need action more than ever.” 

“Within this last year alone we have seen how farmworkers, day laborers, and other non-traditional workers have remained on the frontline of our recovery efforts across the nation,” said Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages, Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus. “Immigrant families have proven time and time again their commitment to our shared American values. Promises have been made to them and their families, and it is past time Congress fulfilled their obligations to these communities that have made America their home- and provide a pathway for legalization. We cannot continue to allow them to live in a state of perpetual limbo.” 

"We've made strides recently to right our country's historic wrongs, by showing Black Lives Matter, believing victims of abuse, and seeing more women in positions of power,” said April N.M. Baskin, Chairwoman, Erie County Legislature. “It is only natural that our progress continues to rightfully recognize our frontline immigrant workers with a path towards citizenship. We cannot turn our backs on the people whose work is the backbone of this country."

“Essential immigrant workers have been some of the hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, yet at the same time, are often overlooked and left behind in acquiring aid,” said Sammy Gonzalez, Suffolk County Legislator.” "It's more important now than ever to ensure that all of New York's essential workers have access to the resources they need to stay safe and financially afloat.”


In July, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)  members led one thousand immigrant essential workers, elected officials, and immigrant rights advocates to demand the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation infrastructure bill. A few weeks before the inauguration of President Biden, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) launched an aggressive campaign targeted at key members of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation, demanding an unequivocal commitment to achieving a pathway to citizenship. 

The NYIC’s work is part of a multi-organizational and national effort spearheaded by FIRM to transform America’s immigration system. A July FWD.us report revealed a clear majority of Americans support legalization for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers. The report also outlined that legalization would provide $149 billion in GDP and $39 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.