NNIRR celebrates International Women’s Day & Advocates for Inclusive Immigration Reforms

Photo credit: Peg Hunter

Today, on International Women’s Day we honor and celebrate the leadership of women in their diversity, including women of color, young women and LGBTQI+, whose powerful organizing has brought us to this political moment with real possibilities to bring about historic immigration reforms.

As a network working with grassroots leaders and organizations from around the country —many of us ourselves migrants, refugees or their children— we urgently call on Congress to create inclusive and meaningful immigration reforms that uphold human rights, and recognize the invaluable and essential work of migrants and refugees prior to, and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are at a critical juncture in regards to immigration and socio-economic policies; Congress and the President have the power to signal a turning point in how we address migration. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the injustices of the existing system, which strongly relies on migrant labor —the hospital workers, supermarket staff, agricultural workers, those in the care industry and countless others who contribute to keep our communities safe, fed, and cared— while excluding them from social protections, health care, or access to vaccines.

From this perspective, and in this moment of crisis, we urge Congress to make bold changes to the inherent dysfunctions and injustices embedded within the migration system. We urge strong and principled leadership to remove punitive and exclusionary provisions, including long, unnecessary waits to regularize the status of many who have been waiting for decades to be legally recognized as members of our society.

As we commend the introduction of recent bills in Congress, and recognize the powerful organizing behind them, NNIRR advocates for robust human, labor, and racial justice protections in current regularization proposals. To this end, we call upon Congress to address the following concerns in these legislative proposals:

  • Remove punitive provisions in the Dream & Promise Act, that exclude youth who’ve had encounters with the arbitrary and inherently racialized criminal justice system which unfairly targets Black, Latino and Asian youth.
  • Provide immediate regularization to farmworkers and their families, and remove harmful provisions included in the Farm Workforce Modernization Act -—which perpetuate farmworkers as an exploitative workforce without access to fundamental labor, social, or healthcare protections. Migrant workers face a higher risk of losing their livelihoods, having their labor and human rights violated, and contracting coronavirus. Having immediate access to residency, citizenship and labor protections is fundamental to guarantee their dignity, safety and well-being.

This is a transformative moment for U.S. immigration policy. It is critically important that the real impact of measures in these bills be closely examined. NNIRR along with our partners will advocate for legislative relief and reforms for all migrants and refugees that respect labor rights, civil rights and human rights without harmful trade-offs or exclusions.

For some background on concerns with current Dream & Promise Act go here.

For a quick summary of the human rights concerns with the Farm Workforce Modernization Act bill, go here.