President Biden declares June as National Immigrant Heritage Month



President Biden has declared June as the National Immigrant Heritage Month to celebrate the courage of immigrants who came to America in search of a better life for their future generations.

“I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about the history of our Nation’s diverse and varied immigrant communities and to observe this month with appropriate programming and activities that remind us of the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Biden said in his proclamation statement.

Biden’s statement says: “America is more than a place; it is an idea.  It is the idea that everyone is created equal and deserves to be treated equally throughout their lives and that everyone should have a fair shot and an equal chance to get ahead.  That is what has drawn people to our shores for centuries.  It is what makes us who we are.  And that very idea of America has been advanced by immigrants from every part of the world — my ancestors and yours.  Their dreams built America, and during National Immigrant Heritage Month, we celebrate their courage.”

The First Lady and Biden are descendants of immigrants — the Giacoppas, from the northeast corner of Sicily in Italy, and the Finnegans of County Louth and the Blewitts of County Mayo in Ireland. Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, California, to parents who emigrated from India and Jamaica.  “Like so many who still come here seeking a better future, our parents and great-grandparents could not be sure what life would bring. But they had faith that, for their children and grandchildren, anything would be possible in America. And they were right,” said Biden.

The president pointed out that many families also came to America in search of a better future and the promise of the American Dream. “Each wave of newcomers brings energy and new ideas to move our nation forward. Today, one-third of our doctors and nearly three-quarters of our farmworkers are immigrants, and so many more are essential workers, first responders, and military service members.  Immigrants own approximately one in five businesses, create millions of jobs, pay hundreds of billions in taxes, and spend even more on American goods.  Almost half of all Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or their kids. Immigrants help strengthen our diplomatic and people-to-people ties around the world. It’s simple:  immigrants keep our Nation strong and our economy growing.”

“On day one of my Presidency, I sent the Congress my plan that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, people with temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers; smarter border solutions, including more equipment and modern infrastructure; and provisions to clear court backlogs, speed up processing, and protect families. Let us come together again in a bipartisan way to fix our broken immigration system for good,” he added.

Biden assured that till the Congress acts, his administration will keep using every tool to make the system more orderly, safe, and humane. “We have announced new pathways for nationals of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti, and other countries in the region to come here lawfully.  And in May, we joined with partners across the Western Hemisphere to launch a plan to open new centers where people can receive help with applying to come to the United States, rather than making the dangerous trek at the mercy of criminal organizations and smugglers. At home, we have expanded whistleblower protections for undocumented workers so they too can call out wage theft or unsafe working conditions, improving things for everyone.  And we have strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that for more than 10 years has allowed 800,000 Dreamers to live and work freely in the only country they know as home.  In addition, we have recently proposed a plan to expand DACA recipients’ access to health care through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.”

“We see that spirit of hope at every naturalization ceremony when we celebrate the journey completed by millions of people whose courage and commitment have earned them a title that is equal to that of President in our democracy — the title of “citizen.”  This month, we honor our ancestors by working to keep the torch of liberty lit and held high,” Biden said.


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