Labor Joins Immigrants in Call for Path to Citizenship


Immigrant families and supporters of immigration reform went to Washington Wednesday to plead Congress for a path to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented Americans.
Immigrant families and supporters of immigration reform went to Washington Wednesday to plead Congress for a path to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented Americans.

IAM members joined a rally of more than 100,000 immigrant families and their supporters to send a simple message to Congress on Wednesday: the time for immigration reform is now. The Rally for Citizenship brought together immigrants and labor, civil rights, political and religious leaders to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to demand a path to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented Americans.

NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Jealous told the crowd in his keynote address that America needs common sense solutions in the immigration debate.

“It is time to put to rest far-right-wing delusions about mass deportations and massive racial profiling programs like those in Alabama and Arizona,” said Jealous. “The very idea of America demands and deserves that we fix our nation’s broken immigration system in a way that would make Lady Liberty proud.”

Katherine Tabares, a 17-year-old who emigrated from Colombia with her family almost three years ago, took the stage with her mother to call on Congress for a path to citizenship.

“We are here to fight for equality and justice for all: documented and undocumented, families that are here and those who have been separated,” said Tabares.

Recently, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce signed off on a deal that allows new workers to come to the United States regardless of whether they have family here or the ability to qualify for an existing visa program. It allows workers to join communities and workplaces with full rights, and prevents them from being tied to a single employer. A bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Eight” is currently working on comprehensive immigration legislation.

Click here to sign an AFL-CIO petition for a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million new Americans who aspire to become citizens.