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Central Valley Leaders Shape National Immigration Debate

On March 2, Faith in the Valley grassroots leader and essential worker, Silvia, participated in a national #KeepingFaith press conference with Faith in Action where she highlighted the experiences of Central Valley immigrant families and essential workers during the pandemic. Silvia partnered with faith leaders across the nation to call for pathways to citizenship, including for the essential workers who are among the 11 million undocumented individuals currently in the United States.

As we begin to emerge from a global pandemic under a new federal administration and as our elected leaders draft and approve our plans for rebuilding America, Central Valley leaders like Angela, Maribel and Silvia are sharing their stories, emphasizing our nation’s obligation to the very people whose labor fed and carried communities across the nation through the pandemic. Silvia says, “my experience of my job during the pandemic…has been hard, because the pandemic affected my family directly. My husband and I would go to work daily regardless of the fear of getting infected; our fear was hidden, but our nightmare became reality.”

Despite the unthinkable sacrifices that families like Silvia’s made, current proposals do not provide access to citizenship for all essential workers. The passage of the Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the U.S. House of Representatives are steps in the right direction. However, the next COVID relief package must also include pathways to citizenship for all undocumented essential workers. It’s past time to honor the labor and sacrifices of essential workers in a meaningful way.

To learn more about Faith in the Valley’s immigration justice organizing, contact Alex Gonzalez at alex@faithinthevalley.org.

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