LANSING, Mich. — Immigration advocates gathered at the Capitol on Friday to demand citizenship for undocumented essential workers.
“We are highlighting nurses and social workers who kept this country going,” said Michigan United organizer Stuart Inahuazo. “Do you know that there are immigrants who are also doing that?”
More than 5 million undocumented people have been working in essential industries throughout the pandemic, according to FWD.us, an immigration lobbying group.
Daniel Caracheo says immigrants are crucial to the U.S. rebound from COVID-19, but that state leaders aren’t looking out for them.
“It is unjust that the state just wants our labor, yet our own senators, our own Democratic senators voted to exclude us from receiving pandemic relief,” said Caracheo.
In February, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters voted to block undocumented immigrants from receiving stimulus checks. Now, advocates are calling on Peters to step up and fight for immigrants across the state.
“We need you to start not just voting in support of immigration reform bills, but also start meeting with the immigrants here in Michigan,” said Inahuazo. “We’re Michiganders too.”
Caracheo says citizenship would give immigrants access to the resources necessary for their community to recover from the pandemic.
“By granting a pathway to citizenship, we can now be a full part of our community and have our voices be heard and be represented,” he said.
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