WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, issued the following statement applauding the Biden-Harris Administration for taking concrete steps to protect immigrant workers and hold employers accountable for labor violations against undocumented workers:

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, undocumented workers have been essential to our pandemic response. While many workers across the country stayed home per public health protocols, undocumented workers put their lives and the well-being of their loved ones at risk to keep our country and economy afloat. As we continue to recover from the unprecedented economic impacts of this public health crisis, undocumented immigrants will play an important role in fueling our economic recovery,” said Sen. Menendez. “That’s why I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking decisive action to realign worksite immigration enforcement priorities to improve workplace protections for undocumented workers, cease large worksite deportation raids, and focus on prosecuting unscrupulous employers that take advantage of undocumented workers. In America, all workers deserve a workplace that ensures they are treated with basic dignity and respect, and these actions by the administration are an important step in safeguarding the safety and well-being of undocumented workers.”

Over the last several months, Sen. Menendez has been working to provide a pathway to citizenship through the budget reconciliation process for millions of undocumented immigrants, including essential workers. Earlier this year, Sen. Menendez led his Senate colleagues in introducing the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 – the Biden-Harris Administration’s framework for bold, humane, and inclusive immigration reform that includes measures to bolster workplace protections for undocumented workers. In previous Congresses, Sen. Menendez also introduced the bicameral POWER Act, a bill to protect workers who file or are a witness in a claim against an employer for labor violations from deportation.