President Joe Biden declared this Tuesday June as National Immigrant Heritage Month and signed a proclamation commemorating it, while reiterating the need for Congress to end up debating and approving immigration reform.
“The United States is, has been and always will be a nation of immigrants,” reads the document published by the White House. “It was the premise of our foundation, it is reflected in our Constitution and is engraved on the Statue of Liberty,” he adds.
The president said that during this month, the nation will celebrate “the history and achievements of immigrant communities.”
The document further notes that “throughout each generation throughout our history, wave after wave of immigrants have enriched our country and made us better, stronger, more innovative and more prosperous.” It also pays tribute, not only to immigrants who ventured centuries ago to settle in the United States, but even to those “who only this year, from all over the world, came to seek new possibilities and help forge our nation.”
The presidential proclamation also mentions that in recent years immigrants have lived through “an especially difficult period marked by both the pandemic of COVID-19 as by too frequent demonization ”, the latter in allusion to the zero tolerance immigration policy implemented by the previous government.
“It is vital that our nation reflect on the leadership, resilience and courage displayed by generations of immigrant communities, and re-commit to our values as a welcoming country,” he said. “It has been these same immigrant families and communities of color that were disproportionately affected by the virus,” he said. “In honor of those we have lost, let us as a nation dedicate ourselves to protecting each other and doing our part to end this pandemic for good.”
As part of the proclamation, Biden insisted on “reducing” the barriers to achieve “citizenship and equality” for immigrants, alluding to the plan of immigration reform presented on January 20 and that is stalled in Congress.
The initiative includes, in addition to a citizen security component, a path to citizenship for the majority of the 11 million undocumented people who live in the country, have no criminal record and pay taxes.
During the campaign, Biden promised to introduce the project in both houses of Congress in the first 100 days of his term, but before the Republican refusal to support it until the crisis on the southern border was solved, on March 18 the Democrats of the House Approved Representatives two plans included in the project, but only to regularize the permanence of dreamers, TPS beneficiaries and farm workers.
While both initiatives have bipartisan support, Senate Republicans insist they will not cast votes because the border situation is a crisis that threatens national security. And that until they see it controlled, they will not support any type of immigration benefit.