Washington, D.C. – Today, with the support of over 60 public health, immigrant rights and allied organizations, United We Dream sent a letter to the White House urging President Biden to take immediate action to ensure equitable vaccine access for everyone, regardless of immigration status.
Next week, leaders from United We Dream will join Grammy Award Winning recording artist Caliph and their organization SAFE+ for the Immigrant of the Year Vaccination Drive in Los Angeles encouraging undocumented people to get vaccinated without the fear of being targeted by immigration enforcement or denied a vaccine.
Cynthia Garcia, National Campaigns Manager for Community Protection, of United We Dream, said:
“Over the past few months, undocumented immigrants across the country have faced exclusionary state requirements that have delayed, and in some cases, barred them from accessing a vaccine because of their immigration status. Thousands of immigrants nationwide remain hyper-exposed to contracting and dying from COVID-19 inside ICE and CBP detention facilities where the federal government has failed to issue a clear vaccination plan, release all immigrants from detention and shut down the camps. Instead, the number of people held inside ICE and CBP facilities is steadily increasing, now surpassing 20,000. While President Biden touts the country’s hopeful recovery from the pandemic, we cannot forget the ways lack of citizenship has exacerbated the social and economic inequities facing undocumented communities and continues to prevent our country’s full recovery from COVID-19.
In addition to releasing all immigrants from detention and issuing clear guidance and accountability measures to states that continue to deny immigrants vaccines, President Biden must recognize that citizenship is relief and urge Senate Democrats to immediately add a pathway to citizenship to his American Jobs package. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate based on immigration status, neither should relief and recovery efforts.”