Congressional Hispanic Caucus Endorses Citizenship for Essential Workers Act

May 13, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has endorsed the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, introduced by CHC Members Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20).

The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act would provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status and eventual U.S. citizenship for more than 5 million undocumented essential workers who have been a critical part of the COVID-19 response.

Following the endorsement, CHC Chair Dr. Ruiz and bill sponsors Sen. Padilla and Rep. Castro released the following statements:

CHC Chair Dr. Raul Ruiz (CA-36):

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is proud to endorse the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, a bicameral piece of legislation introduced by CHC Members Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20),” said Chair Dr. Ruiz.

“Immigrant essential workers have been on the frontlines working to keep us safe, healthy, and fed during the pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security designated these immigrant workers as essential and part of our country’s infrastructure. Supporting essential workers means supporting economic growth and productivity for our nation.”

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA):

“I’m grateful to have the support of my CHC colleagues behind our effort to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrant essential workers,” said Senator Padilla. “For over a year now, we’ve been thanking the essential workers caring for our aging loved ones, cleaning our hospitals, making the food we had delivered to our homes. Many of them are undocumented, but they stepped up to help keep our families healthy and our economy moving. To ensure a strong, equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must honor immigrant essential workers with more than our words. They have earned a pathway to citizenship.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20):

“I am proud that the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act has earned the endorsement of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “Latino communities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in part because so many Latinos are immigrant essential workers who have kept America healthy, fed, and moving forward despite the great risk to themselves and their families. In fact, it was the Trump administration that designated these immigrant essential workers as part of America’s critical infrastructure. Congress needs to honor the dedication, sacrifice, and grit of these essential workers, who are the invisible heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a pathway to citizenship. After a horrific year of pandemic, four years of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant cruelty, and decades of bipartisan failures to address a deeply broken immigration system, we cannot let the American people down again with inaction. With the CHC’s support, the House must move swiftly to pass the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act.”

A fact sheet on the bill can be found HERE.


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.