Democratic Senators Call on Biden to Protect Migrant Families

Photo by AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A collective of Democratic senators, spearheaded by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin and Sen. Bernie Sanders, have drafted a missive addressed to President Joe Biden. Their letter, outlined in a report by The Hill urges the Biden administration to enact decisive measures aimed at shielding migrant children and spouses from the looming threat of deportation, particularly in the event of a potential return to office by former President Trump.

In their correspondence to President Biden, the senators underscore the pressing need for administrative intervention to safeguard hundreds of thousands of immigrants who face the risk of expulsion from the country. They stress the profound repercussions that mass deportations could inflict on both American families and the economy.

Emphasizing the invaluable contributions made by undocumented immigrants to the fabric of the nation, the senators draw attention to the far-reaching economic and societal implications of potential deportations. They highlight the fact that over 1.1 million U.S. citizens are married to undocumented immigrants, while approximately 4.9 million U.S. citizen children have at least one undocumented parent.

The senators caution that fulfilling the threats of mass deportation, as previously articulated by former President Trump, would result in dire consequences for the American economy and the stability of countless families. Moreover, the senators underscore the significant financial contributions made by undocumented immigrants, citing figures such as an estimated $9.7 billion in federal and state taxes and over $11 billion in Social Security contributions in 2019 alone.

They also acknowledge the pervasive climate of fear and uncertainty experienced by immigrant families, which often deters them from seeking essential healthcare services or reporting crimes due to concerns regarding their immigration status. The coalition of Democratic senators, which includes Sens. Alex Padilla, Catherine Cortez Masto, Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, and Sanders, among others, lays out a series of specific actions for the Biden administration to consider.

They advocate for the expeditious processing of green card applications for undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens, citing current processing delays averaging 42 months. Additionally, they call for streamlining the transition process for DACA recipients to attain permanent resident status, particularly in terms of securing employer sponsorship for green cards, highlighting the bureaucratic hurdles faced by DACA holders seeking to change their status.

Furthermore, the senators propose that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice implement a regulation permitting undocumented immigrants who serve as family caregivers to apply for cancellation of removal orders. They argue that simplifying this process and granting permanent resident status to caregivers would not only benefit American families, especially those with dependent children, but also foster a sense of relief within immigrant communities.

In closing, the senators express gratitude for the consideration of their recommendations, emphasizing the significant relief that their implementation would bring to undocumented immigrants and the communities that rely on their contributions.

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