April 28, 2021

Congressman Castro Invites San Antonio Essential Worker as Virtual Guest to Presidential Address

SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20) is uplifting a San Antonio essential worker, Eliza Sanchez, as his virtual guest to President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress. Eliza, 44, is an immigrant domestic worker and has worked as a homecare worker for the past 3 years providing care for the elderly. The Joint Address is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marking 100 days into the President’s first term. In the past, Congressman Castro has invited members of the San Antonio community, including Dreamers, to join him as guests to such speeches. This year’s in-person attendance is limited due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Earlier this Congress, Rep. Castro introduced the Citizenship for Essential Worker Act to create a path to citizenship for immigrant essential workers, like Eliza.

“Essential workers in San Antonio continue to help keep our city healthy, safe, and moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, including many immigrant essential workers such as Eliza,” said Congressman Castro. “Care giving is honorable, hard work and deserves to be recognized with not only stronger workplace protections and higher wages, but also a path to citizenship so immigrant essential workers can live without fear of deportation. My grandmother worked her entire life as a maid, a cook, and a nanny — as a domestic worker — and my efforts today are a continuation of her dreams for us to work hard so future generations can have a better life. As we work together to vaccinate our community and end this pandemic, citizenship for essential workers is a vital part of our nation’s economic recovery.” 

If the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act becomes law, it would have a major impact on Eliza's life and millions of essential workers like her:

"If I had citizenship I could live and work freely, without fearing being deported from my home. And I could ensure I was paid fairly for the work I do. Without permanent status, employers think they can pay us less, and the fear of retaliation and deportation make it harder for workers like me to exercise our rights,” said Eliza Sanchez. “That's why we need citizenship for essential workers now to have a fair recovery."

Background on Eliza: 

Eliza is a member of Domesticas Unidas in San Antonio and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She was most recently working for a 70-year-old woman in San Antonio as a live-in caregiver providing end of life care. When her client passed away Eliza was left without employment and without a home until she finds her next job. This is work that is deeply personal and requires both skill and heart, but caregivers, especially immigrant caregivers, are undervalued and underpaid, and lack the job security and benefits that all workers need.