FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2013
Washington, DC – We Belong Together Co-Directors Pramila Jayapal and Vivien Labaton released the following statements applauding the Senate’s passing of S. 744 today.
Pramila Jayapal, Co-Chair of We Belong Together
"This is truly a historic day, one that millions of people across the country have been waiting for, speaking out and organizing towards for more than a decade. The bill contains a road map to citizenship for millions of people who have long lived in the shadows. It includes important workers’ rights protections, an end to the family visa backlog, a provision that would allow deported parents to reunite with their families, protections for survivors of violence, an accelerated path to citizenship for DREAMers, and other positive changes to our immigration system that will improve the lives of millions of women and families.
“What’s more, it contains provisions that have never before been in an immigration bill --including provisions that allow spouses of those on employment visas to also work, and provisions that open up employment visa categories to recognize professions dominated by women.
“This legislation not only allows millions of women, men and children to come out of the shadows and families to be reunited, it also reminds the world that America values, and will stand up for, immigration as a positive force for our future. We still have work to do to improve the bill and pass a similar comprehensive bill in the House, but today, we celebrate. This vote for immigration reform is a vote for love, family and America."
Vivien Labaton, Co-Chair of We Belong Together
“Today’s Senate vote is a testament to the important role women played in shaping the immigration reform bill. We thank the women Senators who came together to form our nation’s first women’s caucus on immigration reform. We give special thanks to champion Senator Mazie Hirono, the only immigrant Senator, whose leadership in the process dramatically improved the bill for immigrant women for generations to come. With her leadership, We Belong Together was able to call for the first-ever Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on women and immigration.
“Despite including provisions that directly impact women that have never before been seen in proposed reform, the bill is not all that we hoped it could be. As we shift our attention to the House, We Belong Together will work with our partners to ensure that women have an equal opportunity towards a pathway to citizenship, that their basic human and due process rights are respected, and that border communities do not bear the brunt of misguided militarization of the border. We will not stop until common sense immigration reform that includes and values women’s contributions is signed into law. Immigrant women, our communities, and our country deserve no less.”
We Belong Together is a national campaign anchored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The campaign engages women around the country in working toward common sense immigration reform that will treat women and families fairly. www.WeBelongTogether.org