Immigrants Living In the US For 7 Years Can Get Automatic Green Card? A New Bill Proposed By Democrats
A group of four top Democratic senators has introduced Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act on Wednesday.
Renewing Immigration Provisions Of The Immigration Act
The move will provide a much-needed pathway to a Green Card for up to 8 million people, including dreamers, H-1B and long-term visa holders.
Now, an immigrant may qualify for lawful permanent resident status if they have lived in the US continuously for at least seven years, under this bill.
The Senate by Senator Alex Padilla and co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ben Ray Lujan, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin introduced the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act on Wednesday.
Adding, “Our outdated immigration system is hurting countless people and holding back America’s economy. My bill would update the Registry cutoff date for the first time in more than 35 years so that more immigrants can apply for legal permanent residence,”.
Padilla said, “This could have a profound impact on millions of immigrants, some who have been living, working, and contributing to the United States for decades, by allowing them to live freely without the fear of an uncertain future,”.
As we know, the Green Card, also officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.
A Much Needed Pathway
The statement said that the legislation would provide a much-needed pathway to a green card for up to 8 million people, including Dreamers, forcibly displaced citizens (TPS holders), children of long-term visa holders who face deportation, essential workers, and highly skilled members of the workforce such as H-1B visa holders who have been waiting years for a green card to become available.
Interestingly, if the undocumented individuals covered in this bill became citizens, they would contribute approximately $83 billion to the US economy annually and about $27 billion in taxes, as per the estimates by pro-immigration lobbying group FWD.us.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has introduced Companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Lofgren said, “For decades, immigrants who contribute significantly to our communities and our economy have been relegated to a legal limbo,”.
Further adding, “Updating this historically-bipartisan provision to provide lawful permanent resident status to immigrants who have been a part of our communities for years will make our immigration system fairer and our country stronger,”.
Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act
The Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Registry, gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the 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, said the lawmakers.
First codified in 1929, Section 249 was modified four times by Congress, most recently in 1986.
Since 1986, no changes have been made and the cutoff date for eligibility remains January 1, 1972, more than 50 years ago.
It appears that this move has been welcomed by the Green Card aspirants living in the country.
TPS Holder from Nepal & Organizer with Adhikaar & Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP), Anil Shahi said, “The only humanitarian and viable solution for us is a pathway to citizenship, which the Registry Bill seeks to offer. We demand that Congress act and do the right thing. Pass the Registry Bill,” .
CHIRLA executive director, Angelica Salas said, “We applaud the bold leadership of Senators Padilla, Lujan, Warren, and Durbin to move Congress to update the registry, an existing immigration law that has not been revised in over 35 years. An update of the registry will provide immigrants the ability to access permanent residency,”.