Immigrants and business leaders frustrated with Biden's humanitarian parole for new arrivals • Georgia Recorder

WASHINGTON – Immigration advocates and business leaders on Friday called on President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to expand work visas to long-term undocumented residents and immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens following his State of the Union address Thursday night, which called for Business and economics went to immigration reform.

In a press call Friday organized by the American Business Immigration Coalition, a group that advocates for immigration reform as an economic benefit, they expressed frustration that the Biden administration has granted new migrants parole on humanitarian grounds, to quickly give them protection and the ability to work in the United States – but had not extended the same privileges to undocumented people who have been in the country for a long time.

Given that Congress has failed to act on immigration reform in nearly 40 years and that a bipartisan deal on border security quickly collapsed last month, these advocates and business leaders see an executive order as the only path forward.

“We have no choice but to knock on the door of the White House,” Al Cardenas, business leader and co-chair of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said Friday. “Everyone is frustrated.”

Americans with undocumented spouses also expressed frustration and pushed for executive action to provide relief to the more than 1.1 million Americans who fear their undocumented spouses could be deported.

“'I will not separate families.' That’s what President Biden said last night,” Ashley DeAzevedo, president of American Families United, said of Biden’s State of the Union address. “To some people these may be just five words, but to me … they are a promise, a commitment to our families and our future.”

Immigration in the spotlight

The immigration portion of Biden's State of the Union address to Congress focused on how Republicans walked away from a bipartisan border agreement and how Biden plans to work with Congress to overhaul U.S. immigration law.

As Biden spoke about immigration, he was often interrupted by Republicans, who that day had passed a House bill named after a murdered Georgia college student, Laken Riley, whose death left conservatives at odds with the White House's immigration policies have connected.

Immigration, particularly how to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, has become a central campaign issue in the presidential rematch between Biden and Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez of Illinois said she was disappointed that Biden did not support expanding work visas for immigrants, noting that there are nearly 9 million job openings nationwide.

While Biden said some of his legislative achievements would create millions of new jobs, Ramirez argued that “we need workers for those jobs.”

“Immigrants help strengthen our economy,” she said. “Immigrants are filling the jobs we desperately need to fill. Immigrants are eager to continue bringing more revenue to our tax rolls.”


The frustration over work permits comes as the Biden administration is grappling with the largest number of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in 20 years and has used broad authority to grant those migrants work visas on humanitarian grounds.

Sam Sanchez, a board member of the National Restaurant Association, said undocumented workers who have waited decades for their visas feel like they are being “overtaken by new (immigrant) arrivals.”

“We are here to help everyone,” Sanchez said. “But we must not forget the long-term migrants who have contributed to our economy.”

There are more than 10 million undocumented people in the United States, many of whom have lived in the country for decades.

Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said the Biden administration's frequent use of humanitarian parole is why it urged the president to grant work visas to long-term undocumented residents.

“We didn't think this would be possible, but you know, he issued 1.4 million work permits to the new migrants,” she said. “So at least extend the same benefits to those who have been working, sweating and paying taxes here for decades.”

Undocumented spouses

Shi added that many of these undocumented workers, who live in mixed-status families, meaning some are U.S. citizens and others are undocumented, also live in swing states. These swing states include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“This is a political reality,” she said.

DeAzevedo said American Families United, which represents U.S. citizens and their undocumented spouses, is launching campaigns in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to demand the “plain right for our spouses to live in this country in which they live.” to work legally”.

“The state of our unions is tired, frustrated and excluded,” DeAzevedo said.

A person who thinks this way has only been introduced as Allyson, a U.S. citizen who has been married for more than 20 years to an undocumented immigrant with whom she has three children. She did not reveal her full name.

“We are tired and, frankly, so angry with this administration,” Allyson said. “Year after year, we continue to live with trauma and separation anxiety, especially when an unfriendly government takes power again.”

She said she and her family felt disrespected.

“We see over 1 million recently arrived new migrants receiving work permits and family reunification through probation, while we have… waited 20 years to work and pay taxes,” she said.