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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Dems urge Biden to let states sponsor immigrants to fill jobs as Title 42 ends

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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A group of Democratic senators is urging President Biden to create an immigrant parole program that would allow state governments to sponsor non-citizens who can fill job openings. The senators said such a program would help both immigrants looking to make money and businesses struggling to hire. 

“Congressional action to provide lawful pathways for immigrant workers is long overdue.  Unfortunately, such action is unlikely to occur in time to meet our nation’s urgent workforce needs,” the letter, led by Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data, there were 9.6 million job openings at the end of March. The group contends this would be a great time to expand work authorizations. The Biden administration is expecting a surge in illegal immigration after Title 42 ends May 11. 

The senators said the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to issue parole on a case-by-case basis when it would result in a significant public benefit.

“Our states are in desperate need of workers to ensure access to health care and to lower the costs of food for Americans,” the letter stated. “Allowing these states to opt into a lawful, orderly, and efficient parole program to meet workforce needs in critical industries would provide an enormous public benefit to all Americans,” the letter said.

President Biden created a separate immigrant parole program in January for immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti. It allows 30,000 immigrants per month, who pass a vetting process, to enter the United States and legally live and work here for two years.

Applications are accepted on a cellphone app and those who cross without first applying are deported and made ineligible. 

“If you’re trying to leave Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti, or have agreed to begin a journey to America, do not, do not just show up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally from there,” President Biden said when he announced the program. 

The Biden administration is planning to address illegal immigration using the immigrant parole program and Title 8, America’s standard immigration statutes. It is also working to create “regional processing centers” across the Western Hemisphere with the first opening in Columbia and Guatemala. Immigrants who arrive at the centers will be interviewed, and if they’re eligible, be authorized for lawful entry into the United States, Canada or Spain.

If the Biden administration also allows states to sponsor workers, it would significantly expand who is allowed to enter the country legally. 

House Republicans plan to vote on their own immigration legislation the week of May 8, and if passed, would immediately resume border wall construction, reinstate migrant protection protocols and make adjustments to America’s asylum and e-verify systems. 

However, the bill’s sponsors said they are not expecting to receive any Democratic support. Therefore, they said it would serve as their opening offer in a negotiation to pass an immigration package. 

“It should be bipartisan. It’s sad it’s not,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said. “We used to do that.”

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President Biden’s immigrant parole program is a cornerstone of his immigration policy. 

 

It allows 30,000 immigrants per month to enter the United States and legally live and work here for two years. Applications are accepted on a cell phone app. Those who cross without first applying  are deported and made ineligible. 

 

Now, a group of Democratic Senators is asking President Biden to expand parole, by allowing state-governments to sponsor immigrants. The Senators believe this will fill job openings, helping both the immigrants looking to make money, and businesses struggling to hire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data, there were 9.6 million job openings at the end of March. 

 

The Senators say the Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to issue parole on a case by case basis when it would result in a significant public benefit.

 

They wrote quote: “our states are in desperate need of workers to ensure access to health care and to lower the costs of food for Americans.  Allowing these states to opt into a lawful, orderly, and efficient parole program to meet workforce needs in critical industries would provide an enormous public benefit to all Americans,”

 

The group contends this is a great time to do it – just ahead of the expected surge in illegal immigration after Title 42 ends May 11. 

 

The Biden administration is relying on the immigrant parole program, and the authority under Title 8, America’s standard immigration statutes. But if states could sponsor workers, it could significantly expand who is allowed to enter the country legally. 

 

Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.