July 21, 2023

Immigrant Work Permits Pitched to Biden as Fix for Employers

Democratic lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to address workforce needs in the US by granting temporary status and work authorization to undocumented immigrants.

Providing deportation protection and work permits to immigrants who’ve lived in the US for years, as well as newly arrived migrants, would help the US fill almost 10 million job openings, dozens of lawmakers argued Friday in a letter obtained by Bloomberg Government.

The push for executive action is the next phase in immigration advocacy after a series of failed efforts to pass broad legislation when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate last session. Congressional action on immigration is even tougher now that Republicans have the majority in the House.

The lawmakers are urging the administration to more broadly exercise the parole authority it has used to grant temporary status to Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, and other select immigrants in the past two years.

“We urge your Administration to provide humanitarian parole and work permits to both recent migrants and those who have resided in the U.S. for decades; immigrants who have worked and paid local, state, and federal taxes, but without the freedom that comes with a work permit issued by immigration authorities,” they told Biden.

Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (Ill.), Lou Correa (Calif.), Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.), and Darren Soto (Fla.) are leading the effort.

By:  Ellen Gilmer
Source: Bloomberg Government