WASHINGTON — Today, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a bicameral bill that aims to humanely transform the nation’s immigration system and provide protection and a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented people, including current DACA recipients, those eligible to apply for DACA, and other immigrant youth. The proposal aligns with the Biden administration’s articulated priorities on immigration on day one.
The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:
“Our strength as a country comes from our diverse and vibrant population made up of people from all backgrounds and races. Despite the pandemic, the economic crisis, and deliberate barriers put in place to keep Black, brown, young, and new Americans from voting, we came together in record numbers to choose new leaders and a new direction, and now, we expect them to deliver on their promises and to govern for all of us.
“The introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is a necessary and good step towards transforming America’s inhumane immigration system into one that is more humane, functional, and centered in racial justice, and respects all people, regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. This thoughtful and robust legislation also would ensure a path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants and much-needed protections for DACA recipients – including an estimated 15,000 educators who have continued to provide and sustain student learning during the pandemic.
“That we stand on the verge of this important point in our history is a testament to the educators who mobilized like never before during the elections and the advocates, families, allies, and voters who came together to demand the future we deserve, a future that works for all who call this country home – without exceptions.
“All of us – students, educators and our communities – will greatly benefit from the swift passage of this bill. Our families cannot continue to wait. Our students and educators cannot continue to wait. We are demanding an America where We the People includes all of us.
“With deeds and actions, Sen. Menendez and Rep. Sánchez are demonstrating their commitment to immigrant families, our educators and students, and our communities by moving with urgency on this critical issue. We urge Congress to do the same and move swiftly to pass this important piece of legislation.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.