***For Immediate Release***
Friday, February 19, 2021
Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119
C: (402) 504-0074
Nebraska Appleseed Welcomes U.S. Citizenship Act and Urges Swift Action by Congress
Positive immigration laws will support Nebraska communities, families, and economic recovery
Lincoln, NE – On February 18, 2021, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-38) and Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 – the immigration bill that the Biden-Harris administration announced on its first day in office – in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities Program director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement in response:
“For more than a decade, there has been strong statewide support for fixing our outdated and harmful immigration laws. We celebrate the many years of hard work by immigrant Nebraskans together with many other local community leaders to build inclusive communities and to arrive at this legislative proposal that can take us in a positive direction.
Nebraska communities are ready for full inclusion — for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our coworkers — who have long been part of the fabric of local communities, but who have no way to apply for citizenship until Congress takes long-overdue action.
The landmark bill creates a long-overdue process for citizenship for longtime residents who are our family members and neighbors and who have been an important part of local communities for decades, including undocumented Nebraskans, Nebraskans with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Temporary Protected Status residents.
We welcome this legislation and urge Nebraska’s members of Congress to move it forward quickly to ensure a strong and stable foundation for our continued COVID response and recovery, and for Nebraska families, communities, and future.
As we move toward a vision of a country that dismantles the outdated structures, laws, and uglier parts of our history that perpetuate racial inequities and exclusion — even of longtime community members and essential workers — a few provisions in the bill will need to be fixed. We will continue to review the details, but the bill appears to exclude essential members of our communities from health care – at a time when it has never been clearer that our community health is interdependent – and punishes some people twice based on previous contact with a flawed criminal justice system.”