“House Democrats, thank you. Senate Democrats, it’s your turn.”
Washington, DC – The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant advocacy organization.
Today, the House Democrats took decisive and bold action by approving the Build Back Better Act. This is a huge achievement. We salute the work of Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats for producing this major breakthrough.
The House BBB bill included significant immigration reforms. The core provision provides work permits and deportation protections to undocumented immigrants for 10 years – for those who have lived in the U.S. for more than a decade. This is not the path to citizenship we came for, but we support this measure because it dramatically improves the status quo. In addition, we sincerely believe it is a significant step towards our goal of citizenship for all.
This bill will change lives. It means working without having your lack of status used against you by abusive employers. It means getting a driver’s license. It means dropping your kids off at school without fearing a police or ICE stop. It means visiting loved ones in the home country after decades of being separated. It means being able to afford health insurance for the family.
Here are some key facts. Those eligible have lived and worked in America for an average of 20 years. Of the estimated 7.1 million immigrants who would qualify, the House Judiciary Committee estimates that the provisions will cover 1.6 million immigrant youth, 360,000 TPS recipients; and 3.6 million essential workers, including 1 million farm workers. It is further estimated that 17 million people – 1 in 20 American residents – live in a household that includes at least one person who will benefit directly from legal status in the bill.
House Democrats, thank you. Senate Democrats, it’s your turn.