Harlem Rep Adriano Espaillat Keynotes Immigrant Heritage Month Roundtable

June 30, 2021

Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat joined FWD.us, New York community leaders, and directly impacted individuals during a roundtable discussion to mark the culmination of Immigrant Heritage Month.

This underscores the critical need to pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, such as the Dream and Promise Act, Farm Workforce Modernization Act, and U.S. Citizenship Act, either through regular order, or budget reconciliation if need be.

In New York and across the nation, undocumented immigrants continue to play a significant role in enriching our culture and boosting our economy.

Undocumented immigrants in New York pay $3.6 billion in local, state, and federal taxes annually and add $19.2 billion in spending power.

This past year, New York’s undocumented population has been critical in our COVID-19 response efforts with 330,000 undocumented essential workers — including an estimated 9,200 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient essential workers — supporting industries such agriculture, health care, education, construction, and sanitation.

The stakes couldn’t be higher to enact commonsense immigration reform.

A clip of Rep. Espaillat’s remarks can be viewed here.

“It was truly an honor to join FWD.us for this important forum during Immigrant Heritage Month,” said Rep. Espaillat (NY-13). “As the only formerly undocumented immigrant in Congress, I have witnessed firsthand the hurdles our immigrant brothers and sisters have to surpass to make it to this country, and to one day embody the American Dream.

“I hold it as a personal responsibility to ensure that immigrants have the same opportunity to achieve that founding ideal like I did, and that’s keeping our immigrant communities front and center here in New York and in Washington. I helped the House pass immigration reform like the Dream and Promise Act earlier this year, but this is a continued battle that we should never take for granted. I believe that we can finally get legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants signed into law, and I vow to keep fighting. And if we have to do it through budget reconciliation? So be it. It’s long past time our immigrants get their promised pathway to citizenship and we should do what it takes to make this dream a reality once and for all.”

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.

He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.

Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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