Immigrants who have lived in the US for 7 years can get green cards: a new bill
A group of four top Democratic senators have introduced a bill that could provide a much-needed path to a green card for 8 million people, including dreamers, H-1Bs and long-term visa holders. According to the bill, an immigrant will be able to claim the status of a lawful permanent resident if he has lived in the United States continuously for at least seven years, reports NDTV.
The updated immigration provisions of the Immigration Act were introduced in the Senate by Senator Alex Padilla, co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ben Ray Luhan, and Senate Majority Member Dick Durbin.
“Our outdated immigration system is hurting countless people and holding back America's economy. My bill will update the end of registration date for the first time in over 35 years to allow more immigrants to apply for legal permanent residence,” Padilla said.
“This could have a profound impact on millions of immigrants, some of whom have been living, working and contributing to the United States for decades, allowing them to live freely without fear of an uncertain future,” he said.
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A green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, is a document issued to immigrants in the United States as proof that the bearer has been granted the privilege of permanent residence.
This bill could provide a much-needed path to a green card for 8 million people, including dreamers (beneficiaries of the DACA program, which protects against deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the US by children), internally displaced citizens (TPS holders), children of long-term visa holders who are threatened deportation, essential workers and highly qualified members.
The pro-immigration lobbying group FWD.us estimates that if undocumented individuals covered by the bill become citizens, they would contribute roughly $83 billion to the US economy and about $27 billion in taxes annually.
An accompanying bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Zoe Lofgren.
“For decades, immigrants who make a significant contribution to our communities and our economy have been relegated to legal limbo,” said Lofgren, chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration.
“Giving legal permanent resident status to immigrants who have been part of our communities for years will make our immigration system fairer and our country stronger,” she said.
Legislators said section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as registry, gives the Secretary of Homeland Security discretion to register certain individuals for lawful permanent resident status if they have been in the country since a certain date and meet other requirements. .
Section 249 was first codified in 1929 and has been amended four times by Congress, most recently in 1986. No changes have been made since 1986.
This move was welcomed by green card applicants living in the country.
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“The only humane and viable solution for us is the path to citizenship that offers Registry Bill. We demand that Congress act and do what is right and take Registry Billsaid Anil Shahi, TPS holder from Nepal and organizer of Adhikaar & Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP).
“We applaud the courageous leadership of Senators Padilla, Lujan, Warren and Durbin, who have called on Congress to update the registry, an existing immigration law that has not been revised in over 35 years. The registry update will give immigrants access to lawful permanent resident status,” said Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA.
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