As Congress clocks out for the weekend many members of Congress can be proud of the shifts they put in this week. Two very important but very different pieces of legislation were introduced that, if passed, will improve the lives of millions of people living in the United States.
On Wednesday, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 which will provide permanent protections for those whose protections were carelessly stripped away by this administration. This Act would provide a clear pathway to U.S. citizenship for people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and others who are eligible for such statuses.
Though the bill is not perfect, and we remain committed to strengthening it, it is a big step in the right direction. One very important thing that this bill does NOT do is trade protections for some for increased militarization of our border communities or the detention of immigrant families.
On Thursday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro introduced the Healthy Families Act of 2019. This bill would create a national paid sick days standard so workers can take the time they need to recover from an illness, care for a sick child or family member, obtain preventive health services, or seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Nearly 1 in 3 working people (more than 34 million private sector workers) in the United States don’t have access to paid sick days, threatening their financial security, their health, and the health of our communities.
Paid sick day laws currently exist, or will soon, in 10 states and 22 other jurisdictions across the country, and evidence shows that these policies are working well. Access to sick time shouldn’t depend on where a person lives or works. Everyone should be able to recover from illness or care for a sick loved one without risking financial insecurity or job loss.
Congress took the first step by introducing these two bills and now it is up to us. Take the next step and urge your Representatives to sign-on!