RALEIGH (September 10, 2021) – North Carolinians have been waiting far too long for congressional action to overhaul U.S. immigration policies to renew an outdated, backlogged, unfair, and unworkable system. This is the year for members of Congress to respond to the urgent needs of both our communities and our economy by putting millions of immigrants on a path to citizenship.  

The North Carolina Justice Center is confident that leaders in Congress will use every tool they can to deliver citizenship for millions this year, no matter what. It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s necessary for our economy and overwhelmingly supported by voters. Polls consistently show that more than 70 percent of voters, from Democrats to Republicans, support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

As our nation continues to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, it is crucial to include as many people as possible in an immigration overhaul that offers enormous benefits to our economy. This is a policy change that translates to a boost in U.S. GDP by $1.5 trillion over ten years, will create 400,000 new jobs, and will increase wages for all U.S. workers.

Now is the time to put undocumented young people, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential workers on a path to citizenship, while addressing other key areas of federal immigration law to meet the moment. This is the opportunity to invest in a range of progressive common-sense policies that not only bring us together but help us all move forward together — from childcare and education investments to paid leave and job creation, from quality healthcare to housing assistance, from clean energy and climate justice to formally recognizing undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are.

Twenty years after the DREAM Act was introduced and nearly 40 years since the last major immigration reform bill, this is the moment — the best chance we have had in years and are likely to have for a long time to get immigration policy right. We call on Congress to drive a bold, visionary, inclusive, and robust recovery and infrastructure package and deliver citizenship for millions this year — no matter what.