*June, Immigrant Heritage Month
By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P].
This Wednesday marks the end of Immigrant Heritage Month, which is a reminder that the United States is, has been and always will be a nation of immigrants. That was the premise of the founding of the nation; it is reflected in the Constitution, and it is engraved on the Statue of Liberty: "from her hand as a beacon shines the world's welcome".
Nearly 11 million people in this country are undocumented, "and it is time for Congress to act by passing the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, the immigration reform plan I put forward on the first day of my presidency," said Joe Biden during the proclamation of June as Migrant Heritage Month.
In that regard, he noted that the plan would provide a path to legal permanent residency and citizenship for these undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers, people with temporary protected status, farmworkers and other essential workers who contribute to the country every day.
"We reaffirm and draw strength from that enduring identity and celebrate the history and achievements of immigrant communities across our nation," he said.
Biden recalled that throughout every generation and throughout the nation's history, "wave after wave of immigrants have enriched our nation and made us better, stronger, more innovative and more prosperous."
"American history includes the story of courageous families who ventured here, whether centuries ago or this year, from all over the world to seek new possibilities and help forge our Nation," he noted in his statement.
The President recognized all of the workers, many of whom are immigrants who have contributed to the food safety, health and security of all Americans during this challenging year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and every year.
"We honor the sacrifices made by immigrants who serve on the front lines as health care providers, first responders, teachers, shopkeepers, farmworkers, and other essential workers."
He pointed out that it was these same immigrant families and communities of color that were disproportionately affected by the virus.
"In California, we understand that our strength is in our diversity," California Governor Gavin Newsom said at the time, detailing that "the economy, our universities and our communities are stronger and more vibrant because of the nearly 11 million immigrants who call California home, roughly one-quarter of all foreign-born people nationwide."
It is worth noting that half of all children in California have at least one immigrant parent.
While it is the end of this month dedicated to the importance of the work and contribution of millions of migrants in the country, it is also the beginning of starting to push for inclusion, non-discrimination and the necessary reforms that will allow all these immigrants to become citizens with all the rights that this implies.