A bill to provide up to 8 million individuals, including dreamers, H-1B workers, and holders of long-term visas, a much-needed road to a Green Card has been submitted by a group of four prominent Democratic senators.
If an immigrant has resided in the US for at least seven years, they may be eligible for legal permanent resident status under the proposed legislation.
On Wednesday, Senator Alex Padilla proposed the Senate’s Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act, supported by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ben Ray Lujan, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
“Numerous individuals are being harmed by our outmoded immigration policy, which is also slowing down the American economy. In order to increase the number of immigrants who may apply for lawful permanent residence, my measure would revise the Registry cutoff date for the first time in more than 35 years Padilla” remarked.
He added that enabling people to live freely without worrying about an unknown future “might dramatically influence millions of immigrants, some of whom have been living, working, and contributing to the United States for decades.”
A Green Card often referred to as a Permanent Resident Card, is a legal document given to immigrants in the US as proof that they have been granted permission to live there permanently.
According to a statement, the legislation would offer up to 8 million people, including Dreamers, TPS holders, children of long-term visa holders who face deportation, essential workers, and highly skilled workers like H-1B visa holders who have been waiting years for a green card to become available, a much-needed pathway to citizenship.
If the illegal people covered by this law were to become citizens, according to projections by the pro-immigration advocacy organization FWD.us, they would make an annual economic contribution to the US of roughly $83 billion and pay about $27 billion in taxes.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has proposed companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
According to Lofgren, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, “for decades, immigrants who contribute meaningfully to our communities and our economy have been condemned to a legal limbo.”
She added that it would strengthen our nation and make our immigration system more equitable to provide legal permanent resident status to immigrants who have been a part of our communities for a long time.
According to the legislators, if a person has been present in the nation since a specific date and satisfies other criteria, the Secretary of Homeland Security may register them for legal permanent resident status under Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, popularly known as the Registry.
Congress updated Section 249 four times, the most recent being in 1986. It was initially codified in 1929. The qualifying cutoff date of January 1, 1972, more than 50 years ago, has not changed since 1986.
The country’s residents applying for Green Cards have hailed the decision.
“The Registry Bill aims to provide a road to citizenship, which is the only humane and workable answer for us. We urge that Congress take action and behave morally. Introduce the Registry Bill, “Anil Shahi, a Nepalese TPS holder and organizer with Adhikaar and Communities United for Status & Protection, stated (CUSP).
He has more than 30 years of residence in this nation.
“We commend the senators Padilla, Lujan, Warren, and Durbin for their audacious leadership in pushing Congress to update the Registry, an existing immigration legislation that hasn’t been changed in more than 35 years. The registration will be updated, giving immigrants access to permanent residence “said CHIRLA executive director Angelica Salas.