Marchers arrived in Madison the day before President Joe Biden was set to arrive in Western Wisconsin. (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)
The immigrant workers’ rights group Voces de la Frontera is planning a series of protests to demand a path to citizenship be included in the massive Build Back Better Act, which passed the House of Representatives on Friday and now heads to the U.S. Senate.
“Democrats in Congress failed to include a pathway to citizenship through registry for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the Build Back Better bill that they passed this morning,” the group declared in a statement Friday. “Instead, the bill only provides temporary work permits for an estimated 7.1 million.”
“Let’s be clear: a majority of Latinx and immigrant voters in Wisconsin and other swing states elected President Biden, Vice President Harris and Democrats to Congress based on their promise to pass a path to citizenship this year,” Voces director Christine Nuemann Ortiz said. “The failure of Democratic leadership in the House to only include temporary work permits in Build Back Better is a betrayal to those who’ve lived and worked here for decades, paying taxes and sacrificing their lives in essential industries during the pandemic.”
“And for what reason?” Neumann Ortiz added. “To cater to racists they will never win over and to cave to corporate interests that rely on a more exploitable workforce to increase their profit margins. Their decision does not reflect what the American people want, as poll after poll shows that providing a path to citizenship for immigrants is immensely popular amongst voters across the political spectrum.”
Calling on the U.S. Senate and President Joe Biden to reverse course and add back a pathway to citizenship in the bill, the Milwaukee-based Voces and other members of the national Fair Immigration Reform Movement Action (FIRM Action) are also planning strikes and protests in the event that the Senate parliamentarian advises against including work permits in the Build Back Better bill.
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