COULD IMMIGRATION REFORM HELP WITH THE ECONOMIC CRISIS WE ARE IN THANKS TO COVID PANDEMIC?
Last week, President Biden unveiled a historic legislative package designed to change the course of the pandemic, get students back to school, give families and businesses a bridge to an economic recovery, and invest in advancing racial equity. His plan came on the heels of December’s bipartisan deal to provide a down payment on long-term economic relief for working families.
Congress should finish the job by expeditiously passing the American Rescue Plan into law. But the American people cannot afford to wait for Congress to act – they need help and they need it now.
As part of the package, Biden proposed an immigration reform. If passed, it would be the largest legislative overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in decades (since 1997). Biden's proposed legislation
- offers an eight-year path to citizenship for millions of people who were living in the United States unlawfully on Jan. 1, 2021. They would be eligible to apply for a green card after five years in a temporary status if they pass background checks and pay their taxes, and could then apply for citizenship three years later.
- Allows people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection, a group known as “Dreamers”, who were brought to the United States illegally as children, farmworkers and people with Temporary Protected Status to immediately apply for a green card if they meet specific requirements. They would have a three-year path to citizenship.
- Permits certain immigrants who were deported during the Trump administration and had previously lived in the United States for three years to return to reunite with family or for other humanitarian reasons.
- Raises annual per-country limits on family-based immigration and eliminates them for employment visas.
- Exempts spouses and children of green card holders from employment-based immigration quotas, expanding the number of green cards available to employment-based immigrants.
- Scraps multi-year bars to re-entry for certain people who lived in the United States illegally and then left.
- Clears family-based and employment-based visa backlogs.
- Provides work permits to dependents of H-1B visa holders.
- Authorizes regional processing centers in Central America to register and process people for refugee resettlement and other legal migration programs.
- Authorizes funding for legal counsel for vulnerable populations of migrants, such as children.
- Increases the number of immigration judges working in the court system.
- Eliminates the one-year filing deadline for asylum applications.
- Changes the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in U.S. immigration laws.
One does not have to be a lawyer to understand that this is huge! All Biden has to do now is convince the republicans to sign off on the proposed immigration reform. Hopefully they will be able to agree that legalizing illegal noncitizens will boost our economy as they will start paying onto our social security. What is even more important is that most immigrants do not retire in the US. Thus, while they pay into the system, they rarely use it after all. This will ensure that we actually have social security to fall on when the time comes. This is just a thought.
Please comment and share your own thoughts about the immigration bill and its impact on the economic crisis.