For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
Friday, October 8 , 2021
Media Contact:
Viridiana Vidal (702) 206-2110 //

NDLON Calls Upon Allies In Congress To Join Representative Chuy Garcia In Pledging To Block The Whole Enchilada On Infrastructure if Immigrant Legalization is Not Included in Final Vote Package

“¡Keep your promise, a fuerza!
Leave no one behind.
Make step-by-step progress if necessary.
But get it done. ”

Los Angeles – The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) calls upon our closest friends in Congress and Washington DC to do more to ensure that immigrant legalization makes it into a final deal on infrastructure. Earlier this year, Congressman Chuy Garcia took a clear stand, stating: “My position is firm: no immigration reform, no vote. Look, the Democratic leadership cannot lose more than 3 votes. So let’s raise the stakes.” Since then, other members including Representatives Lou Correa, Adriano Espaillat, and as of yesterday, Jimmy Gomez, have joined in threatening to block the bill on bridges and roads if there is no path forward for immigrants to achieve equal rights. NDLON calls upon more members of congress to join in order to advance immigrant rights.

Pablo Alvarado, co-director of NDLON stated:

“Why aren’t more of our allies joining Congressman Garcia in standing up for immigrant workers and immigrant families? We can’t possibly hold Senator Manchin accountable if we can’t even hold Congressman Ruiz accountable. We want to see more clear, courageous, and consistent leadership, specifically from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, commensurate with the crisis we are facing in our community; and we will no longer allow politicians to be praised for empty promises made in our names that aren’t backed up by action.

“Talk about the Parliamentarian is a political parlor game, and we want no part of it. Democrats must find a way to provide work authorization, a reprieve from deportation, and the right to travel for millions of immigrants in this country who are not just deprived of equal rights, but who have been put into a position where we are now quite literally working to death during a pandemic so that others who oppress us can survive. No more empty speeches and no more convoluted procedural excuses.

“We don’t claim to be experts on a congress that is clearly broken and undemocratic, but we know this: if more leadership, more courage, and more clarity had been shown by our champions earlier on, we are quite certain the Parliamentarian picture would be quite different at this stage of the negotiations. In fact, we are certain that despite constraints of a thin majority, a breakthrough on amnesty deal would have already occurred. It can and must still happen. Where there is a will, there is a way. What is needed is leadership.

“Until Chuy Garcia came along and threatened to block everything- the whole Biden legislative agenda if necessary- we didn’t see that type of leadership from anyone. To the contrary, what we have seen is a confusing, divisive, and illegible legislative strategy driven from the top-down where our champions were conflicted among themselves about how to proceed. In fact, the only thing that has been clear is that our best allies– people like Senators Durbin, Menendez, and Padilla– have not been on the same page. Are we fighting for the Day One bill, the Dream Act, Essential Workers? All of us? Some of us? Piecemeal? Comprehensive? What are Plans A, B, C, and D? Nobody knows.

“The truth is, immigrants want progress in whatever form it takes. What we don’t want is to be manipulated and divided by Democratic leadership that is either clumsy or conniving. To be clear, we will support an amnesty for as many or as few as possible. We just need to get it done. And we need to move forward. And we are sick and tired of excuses.

“So starting again today, we are going to remind our friends that they must do more, and we will encourage elected officials to specifically make clear that, as Representative Garcia stated today, it will be ‘morally reprehensible’ for immigrants to be left behind again. If a few members of Congress demonstrate a fraction of the courage of the undocumented community, they have the power to turn the tide. Enough is enough already. Get to work and get it done.”