No Thanksgiving without Immigrants: Day After Senate Parliamentarian Gives Positive Sign on Work Permits for Immigrants, Immigrant Families Continue to Fight for Path to Citizenship

Immigrant Families Deliver Homemade Thanksgiving Cards to Sen. Baldwin & Rep. Moore to Urge Them Deliver Path to Citizenship This Year

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/24/21

(STATEWIDE – WI) – Yesterday afternoon, news leaked that the Senate Parliamentarian would be issuing a positive advisory opinion on a provision in the Build Back Better bill that would grant temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants. An estimated 7.1 million immigrants of the 11 million total would be eligible.

Today, immigrant families across the state gathered outside of the Green Bay and Madison offices of Sen. Baldwin and Milwaukee office of Congresswoman Gwen Moore to deliver handmade Thanksgiving cards made by children of immigrant essential workers. The children wrote and drew on the cards to express what Congress passing a path to citizenship this year would mean to their families. Those attending asked our elected officials to reflect on the labor of immigrant workers to bring food to our Thanksgiving tables and honor their families by fighting for citizenship this year so that they can live free of the daily fear of separation.

Click here to access a media toolkit with photos and video testimonials of immigrant families who attended the events across the state. There are Facebook Live videos of the events in Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee as well.

Voces de la Frontera members are calling on Senator Baldwin, Congressman Kind and Congresswoman Moore to join Congressman Mark Pocan and 90 other Congressional Democrats in publicly calling for Democrats in the Senate to disregard the advisory opinion of the unelected Senate Parliamentarian and include a path to citizenship in the Senate Build Back Better reconciliation budget bill. 

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better reconciliation budget bill that failed to include a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrant essential workers, Dreamers and TPS holders who’ve sacrificed their health and safety to keep us safe and fed during the pandemic. Instead, they passed only temporary work permits for an estimated  7.1 million immigrant workers and their families – the majority of whom have lived and worked in this country for more than a decade. 

Giovanni Martinez, 11 year-old from Manitowoc, WI whose dad was deported in 2012, said, “It has been 9 years since I got to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad. Now is the time to pass citizenship so other kids don’t have to suffer like me.”

Ángel, seven years old, from Milwaukee wrote a letter to Congresswoman Moore, saying, “I do not want families to be separated.  Without a father or mother, there is no family.  Citizenship for all!”

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, said, “the parliamentarian’s informal support for work permits demonstrates the progress of our movement. We must escalate pressure on President Biden and Senate Democrats to create a path to citizenship as the Senate takes up the Build Back Better bill. Voces will be joining national days of action and lobbying in Washington DC on December 6th and 7th, and asks for people to contact Senator Baldwin to demand that she champion citizenship this year.”

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CONTACT: Anna Dvorak, 414-469-0118, anna@vdlf.org