Texas — The following is a statement from Jolt Action’s Interim Executive Director Antonio Arellano, on the proposal unveiled by Democrats in Congress today that would guarantee undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. The plan would provide eligible undocumented immigrants immediate legal authorization to live and work in the United States, building up citizenship after 8 years. The proposal would also allow some immigrants, including farmworkers, immigrants granted temporary status, and undocumented immigrants brought here as children, to apply for Green Cards immediately.
“The 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country are here because they believe that the American dream is still possible. This plan by Democrats to guarantee undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship is the best way to show the American dream is still alive and well, and to prove that we are still truly a nation of immigrants.
“For decades, undocumented immigrants have patiently waited for meaningful immigration reform, and one administration after another has failed to deliver change. Our nation has now reached a tipping point, and our elected officials must deliver on the mandate that won them the White House and the majority in Congress.
“The United States has a powerful opportunity to right the wrongs of past failures by embracing the humanity of the millions of undocumented immigrants that built this great nation, and which continue to sustain it. After all, the very essence of being an American means striving against all odds for a better future, and immigrants who dare to dream this should be celebrated for it. They exemplify the best of America.
“A meaningful pathway to citizenship should also take into consideration the cost and time it takes to achieve legal status. Undocumented immigrants have waited long enough. This “Congressional plan should ensure no more delays occur, and that the process is fast and seamless. Additionally, the burdensome cost of legal paperwork should be revisited, taking into account that many undocumented immigrants make a living wage and cannot afford thousands of dollars in legal fees. This country should stop trying to profit financially from the pain it has inflicted on immigrants due to the incompetence of our leaders and further stress their financial situations.
“One in six Texans is an immigrant, and acknowledging the contribution that every immigrant makes — including those with undocumented status — is an important step in repairing the damage done under the last administration. Undocumented immigrants are an integral part of our communities, and it’s time we fully integrate them into our country and provide them with the rights of every American.”
ABOUT JOLT ACTION
Founded in 2016, Jolt Action is a progressive civic engagement organization focused on building the political power and influence of young Latinos in Texas. Jolt Action’s initiatives are focused on community organizing, leadership development, voter engagement, and multi-issue advocacy. Through these efforts, Jolt Action serves to elevate the community’s collective voice to engage and transform our democracy. Jolt’s high school and university chapters across the state mobilize around issues such as student debt, racial and immigrant justice, healthcare reform, and climate change. To learn more, visit jolttx.org.