As the daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, my parents taught me the importance of hard work and determination at a young age. When President Obama laid out his vision for commonsense immigration reform, I thought about my parents and the millions of immigrant workers across the country who would benefit from reform. The President’s proposal provides undocumented immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to come out of the shadows so they can pay their taxes and play by the same rules as everyone else. Our laws should reflect that if you’re willing to work hard, like my parents and so many others do, you have a place in this country. And with the President’s commonsense reform, keeping families together will be a top priority, making sure undocumented parents who meet eligibility criteria are not separated from their children, resulting in stronger families, neighborhoods, and communities.
Women’s History Month gives us the opportunity to look back with gratitude to our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters who paved the way working as nurses, housekeepers, and homecare workers—they instilled in us the values and lessons to break through glass ceilings. And as we look to the future, I firmly believe that commonsense immigration reform will help continue to break barriers and pave the way for millions more women.