The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass immigration bill S. 744 by a vote of 68-32, fulfilling the call and dreams of American and immigrant communities across the country.
All throughout the corners of America, we celebrate this monumental step the Senate has taken to finally pass historic immigration reform.
While no one can claim that this legislation is entirely perfect – the excessive and costly resources to secure our border are undoubtedly concerning – we want to make sure everyone is aware of the good things that are in the immigration bill.
Here are just a few…
What we won
- The path to citizenship for nearly 11 million people stayed intact.
- We’ve got the best DREAM Act provision ever – with a 5 year path to citizenship for Dreamers.
- The bill allows for family reunification–meaning people who have been deported will be allowed to return. Families that have spent years, even decades waiting for their turn in line will finally be reunited.
- New temporary worker programs that protect immigrant workers and American labor force.
- New worker visa programs would provide for strict compliance with U.S. labor standards; portability of visas and the ability for workers to come to the U.S. in a safe, orderly manner.
- Inclusion of POWER Act, which would bolster legal remedies to immigrant workers who are fired in violation of labor laws.
- Future work-visa holders will be able to self-petition for green cards rather than relying on employers to decide whether they can call America home for good.
- All workers would be treated equally by the tax system and eligible for tax credits
- Farm workers would get a ‘blue card’ and will be on a 5 year path to citizenship.
- Expedited path for those already here in a temporary status.
- Prohibits ICE from conducting raids/arrests outside schools, churches, hospitals and other “sensitive locations.”
- Ensures access to affordable housing for battered immigrants.