DACA recipients, farm worker sons and daughters, call on Senate Democrats to pass pathway to citizenship nine years after DACA
DACA protected hundreds of thousands of young undocumented who demand a permanent solution
Sons and daughters of undocumented farm workers who are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program used a telephone news conference Tuesday on the ninth anniversary of DACA to call on Senate Democrats to enact a pathway to citizenship for them and their parents. The press call was moderated by the UFW Foundation’s Leydy Rangel, a DACA recipient and daughter of undocumented farm workers who met with President Biden along with other DACA recipients in the Oval Office in May.
You can view speakers’ bios, here.
Diana Tellefson Torres, Executive Director of UFW Foundation, said: “Nine years ago today, young undocumented people won DACA. It’s protected thousands, but undocumented youth are still fighting for their right to keep their homes in the United States. DACA has and will continue to be a temporary solution to the long-standing need for a pathway to citizenship. DACA recipients and undocumented farm workers have created lives in the United States; they do not see anywhere else as home. Like dreamers, farm workers are vulnerable to deportation. Families live in perpetual fear. Yet, farm workers have always been essential as the people who nourish this nation, through wildfires, pandemics, scorching heat and other extreme weather. The vast majority of the American people support citizenship for Dreamers, farm workers, TPS recipients. It’s time Congress delivers permanent relief to our communities by passing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Dream and Promise Act, or through a simple majority vote.”
Vicente Reyes, a farm worker from Kern County, California, said: “My parents and I have not stopped working in the fields despite fearing deportation when we hear about ICE raids in agriculture. My family are among the million essential workers who are undocumented and live with endless fear about our future.”
Ruben Cohetzaltitla, son of undocumented UFW union workers from Washington state, said: “Thanks to DACA, my brother has temporary immigration status, but he also lives with uncertainty for the days beyond his two-year permit. His livelihood could be swept from under him with just one court decision that rules DACA can no longer continue. My brother and my parents continue to be undocumented. They are the reason why I fight, because we need a permanent solution—we need citizenship. My parents worked throughout the pandemic; they didn’t have the option to stay home for their safety. They were essential in the country’s ability to have food on their tables. That’s why the Senate has to act—so that families like mine can live without the fear of being separated.”
Diana Hernandez, farm worker and daughter of undocumented farm workers from Georgia, said: “Farm workers like my parents sacrificed their lives so that people across the country have food on their tables. Thanks to farm workers our food supply remained intact during the pandemic. They deserve to live free of fear that their families will be separated. My parents have called the United States home for the last 25 years and have made a living from working in the fields, harvesting food for all of America. Since I was 12 years old, I have worked in the Georgia fields alongside my parents picking peanuts, blueberries and weeding cotton. As I have learned over the years, many farm workers are undocumented. They work day in and day out to pick the crops that are then sold in grocery stores across the country. Consumers will likely never know the names of the persons who pick the fruits and veggies they consume on a daily basis.”
For 15 years, the UFW Foundation has mobilized farm workers across the country to advocate for more equitable policies such as immigration reform, pesticide protections, heat standards, hazard pay and other worker protections. We engage constituents in systemic change to break the cycle of poverty while also providing critical services.
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