Our goal is to provide our followers with up to date news in a simple yet informative matter, so let’s jump in. Immigration has been making front page news this week as we face an increasing number of migrants at the southern border and the House passes The Dream Act. Continue reading to learn more about the situation at the border, The Dream Act, The Farmworker Modernization Act, and whether undocumented immigrants can receive CARES Act relief.
1. Senate Majority Leader Schumer Holds Briefing on Southern Border Immigration — Tuesday, March 16th
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a briefing to address the arrival of migrants at the southern U.S. border. The crisis-level conditions at the border are not new, and the lack of investment in the asylum system and border processing is exacerbating this manufactured crisis. The conditions at the border are also becoming an incredibly tense political situation. NBC News reports, “The influx of asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border is overwhelming facilities and squeezing Biden between progressive requests for better detention conditions and Republican demands that he send a tougher message to deter migrants.” We will need to wait and see how the Biden Administration chooses to respond to the situation at the southern border. Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the White House was building capacity to address the influx of children at the border. We understand the challenging position the Biden Administration is currently facing, but it must be their priority to keep children safe and use trauma-informed approaches when developing the next steps. We also want to reiterate the importance of passing immigration reform legislation as soon as possible. Read more about new immigration reform below.
“We want to get to as much as we can to make immigrants welcome in America, to make sure that America integrates immigrants into our system of government, and we’ll keep fighting to get as bold and strong a bill as we can.” —Chuck Shumer
We at McEntee Law, are here to support migrants and can provide legal advice for those being detained. If you or a loved one has been detained, you can contact us via phone at (773) 828-9544.
2. President Biden to Send Surplus Covid-19 Vaccines to Mexico — Thursday, March 18th
On Thursday, the Biden Administration agreed to supply Mexico with surplus doses the Covid-19 vaccine. This is a developing story.
“Our top priority remains vaccinating the U.S. population, but the reality is that this virus knows no borders, and ensuring our neighbors can contain the virus is mission-critical to protecting the health and economic security of Americans and for stopping the spread of covid-19 around the globe.” —White House Official
3. House Passes The American Dream Act and The Farmworker Modernization Act — Thursday, March 18th
On Thursday, the House voted on the Farmworker Modernization Act and the American Dream and Promise Act. Democrats hope to garner support for portions of President Biden’s immigration reform as opposed to one sweeping bill. Both bills passed in the House and will be moving onto the Senate.
The Farmworker Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) would provide temporary legal status and a path to a green cards for agricultural workers, revise the H2-A agricultural worker program, and mandate employment verification through the E-Verify program in agriculture. This bill would ensure the United States can stabilize the agricultural sector, which is increasingly dependent on foreign workers to meet labor demands. Currently, immigrants account for about 73% of the agricultural workforce. The bill could legalize up to about 325,000 immigrants working in agriculture. This bill passed by a vote of 260 – 165.
“This has been a great bipartisan effort, and I think provides a model for how we can work together on our continued immigration efforts that we are no doubt going to be working on.” — U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, H.R. 1603 Legislation Co-Sponsor
The American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) originally introduced in 2019, would provide a path to citizenship for 2.5 million “Dreamers” brought to the U.S. as children a pathway to citizenship, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements after five years. This bill also includes recipient of temporary protected status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). In total, this bill would help naturalize nearly 4.5 million people. Sponsor Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard called the bill “a major step in ending the veil of fear and uncertainty that has plagued the lives of our Dreamers for far too long.” The Dream Act passed 228-197.
We will be sharing an in-depth look at The Dream Act next week on our blog. Follow us on Twitter, to get updated on our latest blog posts.
4. Will Undocumented Immigrants Receive Stimulus Checks? — Friday, March 12th
On Friday, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package will give necessary financial support to Americans. If you qualify for a stimulus check you will receive $1,400. But this raises the question, do undocumented immigrants qualify for stimulus checks?
To receive a stimulus check, you must have a valid Social Security number. This means undocumented immigrants and immigrants who file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are not eligible. Lawful permanent residents, also known as green card recipients, are generally eligible for stimulus checks. Some immigrants with temporary visas are also eligible for checks, but they must have a valid Social Security number and meet specific requirements. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients are eligible, as well as some H1-B recipients. Many undocumented immigrants are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic and are not eligible for most assistance offered. Individuals without a valid Social Security number cannot receive unemployment benefits if they lose their job. We are hopeful that upcoming immigration reform may include options for financial assistance for undocumented immigrants, who currently make up 4.4% of the workforce in the United States.
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s ‘News Review’ from McEntee Law! Want daily immigration news updates? Follow us on Twitter.