Eleven Florida mayors, along with 73 other mayors across 27 states, signed a letter to Congress calling for immigration reform through budget reconciliation.
We Are Home, an organization that advocates for immigration reform, created the letter as part of a campaign to create “pathways to citizenship” for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, essential workers, and their families.
The letter was addressed to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi, and states:
“Today, there are an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants working in construction, agriculture, food services and production, transportation, healthcare, and other essential industries who have risked their lives and the lives of their families to keep our nation running during one of the most challenging periods in modern history … Providing a path to citizenship for these individuals and their families not only recognizes the sacrifices they have made for all Americans over the past year, but also the important role they continue to play in America’s economic recovery and long-term global competitiveness.”
It concludes by asserting that “it’s time for Congress to act” and cites President Biden’s own “Build Back Better” agenda he issued to “rescue, recover, and rebuild” the country. “The only way we can truly Build Back Better is to ensure that Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers are included in any economic recovery legislation including through budget reconciliation.”
News of the letter comes after We Are Home announced in a press release Monday that the letter was officially sent to Congress. In addition to the letter itself, the release included predictions from the Center for American Progress and UC Davis Global Migration Center that supports the letter and immigration reform in general.
The release states, “Providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and essential workers would boost GDP by a cumulative total of $1.5 trillion over 10 years, create over 400,000 new jobs, and increase wages for all American workers by $600. Undocumented immigrants would also contribute an added $149 billion of spending power each year if they were U.S. citizens. This added income could result in an additional $39 billion in combined federal, payroll, state, and local taxes each year.”
The 10 South Florida mayors who signed the letter include: Steve Wilson of Belle Glade, Tamara James of Dania Beach, Hazelle Rogers of Lauderdale Lakes, Ken Thurston of Lauderhill, Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County, Wayne Messam of Miramar, Philippe Bien-Aime of North Miami, Sally Philips of South Miami, and Mike Ryan of Sunrise. The one mayor not from South Florida is Lauren Poe of Gainesville.
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