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Tipsheet

Over 100 House Democrats Demand Biden Admin Give Illegal Immigrants Access to Work Permits

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Over 100 House Democrats signed a letter to President Joe Biden this week demanding that he help immigrants who entered the United States illegally obtain work permits. 

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Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) led the letter from 103 House Democrats to Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to “use all the tools available to provide stability to undocumented individuals and recently arrived asylum seekers, seeking to work lawfully, support their families, and contribute to the economy.” The letter was obtained by Politico:  

We write to urge the administration to use all the tools available to provide stability to undocumented individuals and recently arrived asylum seekers, seeking to work lawfully, support their families, and contribute to the economy.

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The administration should ease the undue delays in granting work authorizations to asylum seekers. Due to significant immigration court backlogs, many asylum seekers cannot apply for asylum for a substantial period of time. As a result, through no fault of their own, they remain ineligible to work, making them unable to provide for their families and contribute to the economy. Many asylum seekers want to work and give back to their new communities. Likewise, many states, cities, and communities have enthusiastically welcomed these asylum seekers. The administration could assist asylum seekers and their communities by increasing the use of parole and decreasing the regulatory 150-day wait period for asylum seekers to apply for work authorization. 

[...]

Asylum seekers should be permitted to apply to obtain work authorization from the moment that they file their asylum claim.

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Unfortunately, positive legislative reforms in immigration are unlikely this congress due to extreme MAGA Republican opposition. However, the administration can make significant and meaningful reforms through many of the authorities already given to it by congress. We strongly urge the administration to use these authorities to the fullest extent possible.

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According to The New York Times, federal officials have sent more than one million text messages to migrants across the country who are eligible for work permits who have not applied for them. In addition, fliers with QR codes are posted at facilities where illegal immigrants gather. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, recently stated that the influx of illegal immigrants “will destroy” the city.

“I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said. “This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City.”

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