Immigrant Essential Workers Deserve Citizenship. Now Congress Needs to Act

by | May 12, 2021

Washington D.C. — Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Chair Alex Padilla (D-CA) led a hearing on “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America.” This comes at a time when Congress is debating on immigration reform. Currently, both Virginia Senators have not taken a stance to support essential workers through the budget reconciliation package.

Monica Sarmiento, Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights released the following statement:

“Immigration status has been the biggest barrier for the 5 million undocumented essential workers and their families. Refugee and immigrant workers are risking their lives to make sure our society is still running despite facing high rates of COVID-19.

It is crucial for Congress to modernize our immigration system by providing a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS and DED holders, and essential workers. The hearing is an important step to making sure we are highlighting the stories of essential workers, their importance in our society, and the role they will play in future recovery. 

Now it is time for Virginia’s Senators to give essential workers a pathway to citizenship using any way possible including reconciliation.”

The Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights held a Spanish-Language rally on the importance of including essential workers in immigration reform:


Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power, and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities. 

Learn More About the Fight for Immigration Reform: