Press Release

Clear Pathway to Citizenship Essential for a Just Economic Recovery

The AFL-CIO and our affiliate union leaders from all sectors of the economy are making it clear: Congress has a historic opportunity to create good jobs and a clear pathway to citizenship for millions of working families, and we expect it to deliver. 

“America’s unions are fiercely committed to transforming the lives of working people through bold, structural changes that remove all barriers to the right to organize, and we can’t do that without reforming our immigration system,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “A broad, inclusive pathway to citizenship will help to raise standards for all workers and should be considered a core component of our economic recovery.” 

It has been nearly 35 years since the last new path to citizenship was created, and our unjust immigration system is one of the many forces preventing working people from getting ahead. 

“The pandemic has revealed the systemic undervaluing of work that is essential for our survival,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond said. “The majority of front-line work in our country is performed by women and people of color, many of whom face structural racism and threats from an inhumane immigration system. Now is the time to address these core failures. Enacting a clear path to citizenship and passing the PRO Act is how we end these structural injustices.” 

Immigrants have been and will continue to be key to the economic growth and recovery of this country. Now is the time for Congress to expand rights and protections for long-term members of our communities, our workforce and our unions. 

“Successive waves of immigrants and refugees, like myself, have always helped to build, serve and feed our nation,” said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre. “Today is no different. America’s unions are calling on Congress to take decisive action to extend permanent protections for all working families. Our nation’s economic growth must be inclusive to all, so unions will continue to fight until we win rights on the job and in the community for everyone who lives and works here.”

Contact: Kalina Newman (202) 637-5018