Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry, immigrant airport workers discuss pathway to citizenship at DCA

More than 300,000 DACA and TPS immigrants have been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep communities healthy and safe.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Mary Kay Henry, international president of Service Employees International Union, hosted an immigration roundtable discussion with 32BJ SEIU’s airport workers, many whom are immigrants, at Reagan National Airport. The 32BJ members, who were joined by their president, Kyle Bragg, discussed their experiences as immigrants, risking their lives to keep people safe and airports running during the pandemic and the need for a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and all 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

“We all need an opportunity to improve our situation,” said Rhina Enriquez, an airport worker at Newark Airport, member of 32BJ and a TPS recipient from El Salvador. “I made my life here, I have my children here and I want the best for them. ”

More than 130,000 TPS holders and more than 200,000 DACA recipients have been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and as many as 20,000 SEIU members have TPS. A pathway to citizenship would change the lives of these workers and millions more by allowing them to fully participate in our society and protect them better from deportation. 

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