Recently, two congresswomen from opposite sides of the aisle, Rep. María Salazar, R-Fla., and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, introduced a bill called the Dignity Act. Both congresswomen said they have witnessed the impact of the broken immigration system on their communities and are willing to work together to come up with a viable, bipartisan solution. Read on to learn more about the bill and what it may mean for immigrants in the future.
What are the main provisions of the Dignity Act?
The bill has four main components. They are as follows:
- A 12-year, two-part path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years, have no criminal record, and will pay a fee, referred to as a “dignity levy.” The first part would grant them a work permit and protection from deportation for five years, and the second part would grant them “Dignity status” after another seven years, which can be renewed indefinitely.
- A requirement that the border be declared secure by the Department of Homeland Security before anyone on the path to legal status can obtain permanent status. The bill would provide $10 billion for border security measures, such as technology, infrastructure, and personnel.
- A reform of the asylum system to speed up the processing of cases and reduce the backlog. The bill would create five “humanitarian campuses” along the southern border, where asylum-seekers would be detained until their cases are decided within 30 days.
What are the chances of the bill passing?
The chances of the bill passing are uncertain, given the polarized political climate and the complexity of the immigration issue. The bill faces opposition from both sides of the spectrum: some Republicans may see it as too lenient or too costly, while some Democrats may see it as too harsh or too narrow.
However, the congresswomen said they hope their bill will spark a constructive dialogue and serve as a starting point for negotiations. They said they are open to working with other lawmakers and stakeholders to improve their proposal and find common ground. They also said they have received positive feedback from some of their colleagues and constituents.
If you have any questions about this bill or any other immigration-related concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a seasoned New York City immigration lawyer from the Lightman Law Firm today.