On Monday, November 15th, President Biden signed into law a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that is set to help create jobs and boost the nation’s economy.
President Biden built his campaign platform around helping working and middle class families. His promise to rebuild the backbone of our country — those who demonstrate the timeless American values of hard work, perseverance and decency — is now at the heart of his presidency, knowing it will lead to a more equitable economy and improve the life of families across America. As part of the jobs and infrastructure package, The Build Back Better Plan does just that…. its framework makes critical immigration reform measures and necessary investments to meet the needs of the American people, address dangerous deficits in our society, grow our economy and set America on course to compete in decades ahead.
Why Immigrants Are A Key Component of Build Back Better
Successful economic recovery for all Americans is directly linked to a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children (DACA recipients and Dreamers) and those who have held Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than ten years, such as TPS recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, etc. This plan also envisions a secure path to legalize the statuses of those who entered as refugees and asylum seekers, fleeing from their homeland for humanitarian and natural disasters.
An estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants risk their lives and the lives of their families every day keeping our country running safely in their roles as essential workers. Providing them a path to citizenship recognizes not only the sacrifices they have made for all Americans, particularly in the face of COVID-19 but the important role they must play in America’s comeback. Ironically, it’s these very communities that have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic and its economic devastation.
Although immigration advocates would be hard-pressed to seek immigration reform in budget and economic legislation, many are realizing this makes good sense. Immigrants boost the economy and drive prosperity. Immigrants are known to be entrepreneurs creating jobs and contributing to the economic health of America.
What Does Build Back Better Mean For Immigrants?
The Build Back Better Act includes immigration provisions and reform measures that would provide transformative relief including work permits and protection from deportation for the nearly 7 million undocumented immigrants with longstanding ties to the United States. This expanded use of immigration parole promises critical relief for millions of families across America who have lived and remained here since January 1, 2011. The bill would give these individuals permission to work and a temporary 10-year reprieve from deportation. Protections and permits would be granted for five years and could be extended until September 30, 2031.
The Steep Slope Ahead
Immigration advocates are somewhat dismayed by the recent changes to the Build Back Better proposal, pushing Democrats for a more lasting deal for the millions of people living in the U.S. without legal immigration status. Although they face tough odds, advocates are still hoping for green cards signifying permanent legal status as opposed to the new “compromised” plan granting permission to work and a temporary 10-year reprieve from deportation.
Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said in a news conference representing immigrants of multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds: “The threat of deportation is always there. A pathway to citizenship is a pathway to stability.”
Where Does This Plan Stand?
The House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act with key immigration provisions – including protection for unauthorized immigrants and reforms to improve processing, reduce waits and recapture lost visas in family, employment and DV categories. This is a huge step forward and it now will move onto the Senate. More news will come soon about the next steps that are expected after Thanksgiving!
The Law Office Of Michele Alcalde Can Help Immigrants Understand New Laws And Regulations
As the United States of America struggles to live up to its many promises, these are unsettling times for immigrants and their families seeking refuge in our country. Language barriers, separation from loved ones and discrimination are just the start of the hurdles immigrants face on a daily basis. As contributing members of our communities for generations, immigrants deserve a better chance. The Build Back Better Act would offer some assurances, but we still have a long road ahead.
As questions mount and confusion about the future arise, The Law Office of Michele Alcalde has the experience, compassion and knowledge to help you through the incredibly complex issues and ever-changing policies and regulations. Michele is a passionate and dedicated practitioner whose primary goal is the safety and fair treatment of all people. Find us at our social media accounts or call us at 732.766.1407 to discuss your immigration interests!
Posted in: Immigration