In a press conference at the foot of Congress, and as hundreds of thousands of migrants flock to the border intending to enter the United States, a Republican lawmaker on Tuesday introduced a bill that creates a path to legalize the nearly 12 million irregular immigrants already living in the country, in a broad bipartisan initiative not seen in 36 years that tackles a sensitive and controversial issue during the election campaign.
In a press conference with the Capitol behind him, Republican Representative for Miami María Elvira Salazar He provided details of the project he authored, but which has the approval of several opposition lawmakers. Alongside him was the co-sponsor of the show, Texas Democrat Veronica Escobar and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers who said it was “historic.”
The program is called “The Dignity Act”, the law on dignity. According to Salazar, it is the first bipartisan immigration bill of this magnitude introduced to Congress since Ronald Reagan’s reform in 1986.
In addition to the legalization of those who live in the country, the program also provides for the assignment of billions of dollars to increase border securityan effort that will be paid for by the migrants themselves who will have to contribute money to regularize their situation.
“It’s a historic moment,” Salazar said, “we’re sorting out legal immigration and it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny“Said Salazar. “It will be paid in full by the people who are here” and will have to do with the path established to legalize their status.
Salazar said the project it has a great chance of being approved by Congress and called on all lawmakers to come together and discuss ideas. He says the plan addresses the concerns of both sides. “They have been trying to solve migration for 36 years. Many before us have tried, but today is a new day,” she said.
The issue of migration is highly controversial in the country. It always generates campaign promises, but very seldom are large measures taken about it. Donald Trump wanted to build a wall all along the border, but did not comply. Joe Biden has promised a “humanitarian” reform and is only now taking some measures in the face of the crisis on the border with Mexico.
The bill introduced Tuesday includes something new Republicans have been loath to accept: a pathway for immigrants who have been in the United States illegally for more than five years and who have followed the law, paid taxes, and raised American children. , can regularize his status.
“It’s dignity for those millions of people who are invisible to many Americans but who do jobs others won’t or can’t. They deserve respect,” Salazar said.
But that legalization will not be an “amnesty” and they won’t find it for free to immigrants. Republicans want to make this very clear to their followers.
With the exception of those who have committed a crime, the program would allow undocumented immigrants to do so live in the United States for seven years, under the program called “Estatus of Dignity”, after paying 5,000 USD. During that period they will be able to leave the country and return without problems.
After those seven years, immigrants would qualify for “Ransom Status,” which would lead to citizenship at a cost. another US$5,000.
“It’s not amnesty”
“I don’t want the word dignity to be confused with amnesty. Amnesty is what illegal immigrants have had for 30 years: free schools, hospitals and free public services. According to this law, everyone has to pay their share.”Salazar said.
The project expects these funds to be raised by immigrants – who calculate it could reach 45,000 million dollars— could amount to several billion dollars — would be used to fund a new worker re-education program to help any American worker who feels they lost their job to an immigrant get the training they need to get a job.
Those seeking citizenship will not have access to government programs or subsidies e They will have to pay for their own health insurance. In addition, 1.5% will be deducted from their salary for a special fund that would be used for border security and with that they also intend to buy surveillance technology and more patrols. The project foresees that a wall will not be built as Trump wanted.
The plan also provides the creation of five “humanitarian campuses” on the border. The MP said the construction of these centers would end the controversial policy known as ‘capture and release’, under which detained illegal immigrants are let loose pending resolution of their cases.
Campuses would prevent family members from separating and immigrants would a resolution of their cases within 60 days, after which the applicants would know whether asylum was approved, denied or pending, in which case they would be allowed to stand while wearing an ankle bracelet.
He also envisages the creation of processing centers in several countries (an initiative foreseen in Biden’s latest plan), so that migrants do not crowd the border and avoid human trafficking. Salazar said he hoped the private sector will support the bill, which provides solutions to the labor shortages they have been facing.
“AND dignity is the best solution there isbecause the reality is there is no other comprehensive immigration reform that we know of that has been written in either the House of Representatives or the Senate,” he said.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.