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National Domestic Workers Alliance Statement Following President Biden’s Announcement of Protections for Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) applauds President Biden’s announcement of new protections for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens. This executive action, announced ahead of a White House event marking the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, will provide necessary relief and economic opportunity for families across the country and represents a positive step toward the pathways to citizenship we need for immigrants in America. 

Statement from Ai-jen Poo, President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance:

“President Biden’s announcement represents a significant step forward for the millions of us who are a part of mixed-status families and communities, where too many of our undocumented loved ones and caregivers live in fear and uncertainty.  This executive action will offer much-needed relief and create opportunities for immigrants and citizens alike, particularly in the care economy. Immigrants are essential to the care infrastructure of this country. They work tirelessly as childcare workers, personal care aides, home health aides, and house cleaners. Immigrant women are overrepresented in these roles, ensuring the well-being of countless families and enabling millions of working adults to work across the economy. Domestic workers are twice as likely than other workers to have been born outside of the United States. These workers are the center of our care economy and deserve to live without the threat of deportation and family separation.

This action has the potential to impact an estimated 500,000 undocumented spouses, offering them the opportunity to work legally and pursue a more streamlined pathway to U.S. citizenship. Many of these individuals have lived in the U.S. for an average of 23 years, contributing significantly to their communities and the economy.

As we celebrate this progress, we must continue to push for policies that support family unity and security, recognizing the invaluable contributions of immigrant workers and caregivers. Together, we can build a future where all families can live free from fear and uncertainty and where the essential work of caring for our communities is honored and respected.”

The United States is home to several undocumented immigrants and mixed-status families who are playing an essential role in our communities and economy. This is particularly true for the domestic workforce. According to a 2021 study by the Center for American Progress (CAP), noncitizens are overrepresented in all domestic worker occupations, making up half (49.9%) of the house cleaning workforce. Nationwide, 5 million undocumented immigrants work alongside their neighbors, including 142,000 in the care economy as childcare workers, personal care aides, and home health aides, and 162,000 as cleaners and housekeepers. Extending protections to these individuals is essential for maintaining family unity and allowing them to continue their critical work without fear. According to the same study, each year, undocumented workers and their households contribute $2.5 billion in federal taxes and $1.2 billion in state and local taxes, holding $8.4 billion in spending power.


National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at NDWA is a non-partisan non-profit organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose any candidates for public office.