For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
November 13, 2020
Contact: Viridiana Vidal,

Will Gov Newsom Appoint a “Champion of Immigrant Workers Rights” to the US Senate?

Los Angeles, CA – On Friday, a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom signed by 48 groups statewide called on the governor to utilize his power to appoint a woman of color, “champion for immigrant workers rights” to the United States Senate seat vacated by VP-elect Kamala Harris. Full text of the letter and signing organizations below, dated November 13, 2020:

Dear Governor Newsom,

We, the undersigned, write to request that you appoint a woman of color who is a champion for immigrant workers’ rights to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ seat in the United States Senate. At this critical moment, after experiencing the damage caused by the most anti-immigrant President in American history, we don’t just need a supporter of immigrant rights in the U.S. Senate. We need a champion. And you have it within your power to ensure that California is represented by such a voice.

Over the last four years, California led the nation by example with its expansion of immigrant and worker rights in the face of withering assault from the Trump Administration, and Kamala Harris distinguished herself as the most strident defender of immigrant and refugee rights in the Senate. Come January 21st, California’s existing sanctuary policies (which incidentally we expect you will improve upon, particularly when it comes to ending all transfers of people to ICE) will no doubt be used as a baseline model for the Biden Administration’s exercise of executive authority. But it is within the Senate where federal immigration laws must be written, modernized, and brought in alignment with our values and economic needs.

As the smoke clears from this historic election, many are properly calling attention the anti-democratic nature of the US Senate, with malapportioned power being wielded by white men in what amounts to radicalized minority rule of the Unites States legislative branch. The implications of this malapportionment are staggering, from the allocation of federal government resources to the appointment of retrograde judicial nominations to the judiciary. Immigration reform is one such area where, quite frankly, white nationalist male senators are obstructing democracy by subverting the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans who want to achieve political equality for undocumented immigrants. On this issue in particular, California is the state with the most to gain and lose, particularly when it comes to bringing labor and immigration policy into alignment. Consequently, we feel strongly that proven leadership on immigrant worker rights should be a requirement for anyone we send to the Senate.

Finally, we want to make one expectation very clear: Under no circumstances should our state contribute to a reduction of diversity in the United States Senate at this critical moment. To put it bluntly, we absolutely expect and demand that a woman of color fill the seat vacated by our nation’s first African and Asian American woman Vice President. To do anything less would be to undermine the progress California and the nation have made in building toward a truly representative democracy. Thankfully, our state is filled with an abundant number of leaders who are ready, willing, and able to serve.

We are grateful for your consideration of this letter, and we hope you take it to heart as you exercise your authority in selecting California’s next Senator.

Si se puede,

CARECEN-LA, KIWA, Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, Malibu Community Labor Exchange, Haitian Bridge Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), CA Domestic Workers Coalition, Fresno DSA, Employee Rights Center (San Diego), RAICES, Dignity and Power Now, Graton Day Labor Center, Homeless Children’s Network, Latinos Unidos de Berkeley, Dolores Street Community Services, La Defensa, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, El Centro Cultural de Mexico (Orange County), VietRISE (Orange County), Street Level Health Project (Oakland), South Pasadena Tenants Union, Inclusv, LA Community Legal Center and Educational, Los Angeles Community Fridges, SALVA, Monument Impact, How Women Lead, Latinas For Democracy, Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP), Northeast Democratic Club (Los Angeles), Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, Caminante Cultural Foundation, Women’s March San Francisco, Resilience Orange County, North County Immigration Task Force (San Diego County), South Bay People Power, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, SURB SB, Empowered Marginalized Asian Communities, AIM SoCal, Food Empowerment Project, Chula Vista Partners in Courage, SF Mutual Aid, PrismWork, Indivisible San Diego Persist, American Friends Service Committee (San Diego), Latino Racial Equity Project, OC Justice Fund