According to a recent report, more than 10 million US citizens live with relatives who are undocumented immigrants. The Reconciliation bill could help these families find a path to citizenship.
New immigration laws that create more legal pathways to citizenship are increasingly urgent, in light of a recent report by immigration advocacy group FWD.us. According to this analysis, based on Census Bureau data, more than 10 million US citizens share a home with undocumented immigrants.
Almost half of those US citizens, 4.9 million, are children with at least one undocumented parent. The report shows the extent to which undocumented immigrants are integrated into their communities, with 22 million people living in mixed-status households.
That number includes households that house U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents or temporary visa holders, and at least one undocumented person. Additionally, 1.7 million Americans are married to undocumented immigrants, according to the report.
The fight for new immigration laws and a path to citizenship
This analysis comes as immigrant advocates are pressuring Democrats in Congress to fight to include new immigration laws in the next $3.5 billion Reconciliation bill. This bill, which is expected to include a wide range of Democratic social priorities, will not be subject to obstructionism from the Senate and can be passed without any Republican support.
Senate staff are scheduled to present their case on Friday about which new immigration laws are eligible for inclusion in the bill to the Senate Parliamentarian, that will issue a ruling on the matter. Advocates hope that up to 8 million people will be covered by the bill, gaining access to legal permanent residence, which is itself a path to US citizenship.
Currently, undocumented immigrants and beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for the most part are not allowed to apply for any kind of legal status.
What are the new immigration proposals that could benefit undocumented immigrants?
Immigrant advocacy groups want Democrats, and the MP, to include undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors, TPS recipients, essential workers, and farmworkers in the bill. Some advocates have pushed for the inclusion of undocumented family members as well, which could bring the number of people eligible for benefits to 11 million.
The momentum for a blanket legalization bill is based on the growing political and economic influence of undocumented and mixed-status communities. According to the FWD.us report, undocumented spouses and parents of US citizens could earn up to 58 percent more income with legal permanent residence.
“This economic impact would have significant multiplier effects for the overall economy, adding an additional $ 59 billion to the economy each year and an additional $ 16 billion in combined federal, payroll, state, and local tax revenue.”Stated Phillip Connor, senior demographer at FWD.us.
With the integration of undocumented immigrants into American families and communities, more and more voters are personally involved in immigration policy. Of the 2.4 million US citizens living with undocumented immigrants in California, 1.2 million are children, meaning that up to 1.2 million eligible voters live in mixed-status households. In Texas, up to 1.5 million eligible voters live in mixed-status households, as do more than 140,000 in Arizona and 120,000 in Georgia.
“Fixing our failed immigration system is personal for millions of Americans living in mixed-status families. As citizens and voters, they hope that Congress will provide their families with a long-awaited opportunity for justice, certainty, and a better future in America, the country they call home.”Connor concluded.
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