Did you hear the great news? The Senate passed S.744, the historic bipartisan immigration reform bill. We are one step closer to passing immigration reform but now we have to take our fight to the House of Representatives, where it will be even harder.
“On behalf of our 125,000 members and their families, I want recognize the Senate for passing this historic piece of legislation, and Senator Schumer for his leadership, which will allow 11 million people to come out of the shadows,” said 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa. “While there are elements of the bill that could be improved, we believe it keeps intact the crucial elements of commonsense immigration reform. We now turn our attention to the House where we will continue the struggle to give people the ability to work with dignity and keep their families together.”
“This is the law we have been waiting for so long, not just undocumented workers, but all Americans,” said Tatiana Lambert, a member of 32BJ who has worked as a cleaner in Manhattan since she came to this country from Albania 14 years ago. “We need them here. They are the next generation of Americans. They are our neighbors; we go to school with them. Americans should be proud of this bill.”
“The existing immigration policy has separated my family,” said Adbul Basher, a member of 32BJ who emigrated from Bangladesh 19 years ago and works in Manhattan as a security guard. “My wife had to leave the country two years ago because her mother and three brothers died, and she cannot come back, so I am taking care of our son on my own. This will help us and unite our family.”
The immigration reform bill is now moving to the House, where far too many Representatives have begun to dig in their heels to try to derail our progress. The House is already pushing bills that would criminalize millions of aspiring citizens, give them second-class status and force law enforcement to practice racial profiling.
But just as we moved Senators who were on the fence, so too can we move the House to answer the call for commonsense immigration reform that creates a roadmap to citizenship.
We have done so much already: we’ve been on the streets and in the halls of Congress calling for reform, we’ve called our Senators and we’ve mobilized our neighbors. Thank you for all you’ve done, now let’s get this bill through the House!