On the heels of the Biden administration’s decision to redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Mary Kay Henry, International President of the two million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will host an immigration roundtable discussion with 32BJ SEIU’s airport workers at National Airport (DCA).
Many of the workers from Washington D.C., Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Newark, NJ, have TPS, which allows immigrants fleeing civil strife and natural disaster to live and work in the U.S. legally without fear of deportation. SEIU may have as many as 20,000 members with TPS, many of whom have lived here for decades.
Workers will discuss their experiences as immigrants, risking their lives to keep people safe and airports running during the pandemic and the need for a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, people with TPS, essential workers, and all 11 million undocumented immigrants. They will make the case that legislation is urgent. More than 130,000 TPS holders and more than 200,000 DACA recipients have been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep communities healthy and safe. In fact, three in ten home care workers are immigrants. A pathway to citizenship would change the lives of these workers and millions more by allowing them to fully participate in our economy and society. President Biden has introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 that would make this a reality while addressing the root causes of immigration.