With Government Shutdown Averted, It’s Time for Congress to Shift Attention to Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) joined Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Danny Davis (IL-07), Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY), MomsRising, Center for American Progress, National Partnership for Women and Families, Family Values at Work, Black Women’s Roundtable and Palo Alto Software for the reintroduction of the FAMILY Act.

The bill, first introduced more than five years ago, would guarantee 12 weeks of partially paid leave for new parents and those caring for a sick relative. The FAMILY Act would also enable workers to earn 66 percent of their monthly wages, capped at $4,000 a month and cover workers in all companies, no matter their size. It would be funded by small employee and employer payroll contributions.

“Working families lose nearly $21 billion in lost wages because they had no paid leave or inadequate paid leave, many of these families are Latino. The FAMILY Act would help prevent 27.5 million Latinos from having to choose between a paycheck and their loved ones,” said Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Deputy Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, UnidosUS.

The United States is only one of only two countries in the world that doesn’t have paid family leave. If passed, the bill would benefit millions of Latino families who have the lowest rates of access to parental leave of any racial or ethnic groups—only 25 percent of Latinos in fact, have access to paid family leave through an employer, compared to 49.7 percent of Whites.

“The FAMILY Act would provide 75 percent of Latinos with paid family leave for the first time and would encourage income stability, and financial independence. Studies have found that paid family leave can contribute to longer parental lifespan, improved mental health and increased long-term achievements for children. That is why UnidosUS is proud to support the reintroduction of a bill that will be transformative for so many working families,” said Jennifer Brown, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS.