23 Nov House Approves Parole for Undocument Workers: What’s in the Bill?
Washington, D.C., November 22, 2021: The House’s version of the Build Back Better Bill on human capital infrastructure included the long-awaited proposed text for legalization of approximately 6 million undocumented workers.
Undocumented workers are persons who entered the United States illegally, or fell out of proper visa status after having been admitted into the United States with a visa.
The solution proposed by the House of Representatives in the Build Back Better Bill is to allow these workers to live and work temporarily in the United States without any specific visa status and without converting their stay into green card status (known formally as Lawful Permanent Residence). The solution, which is called “Parole”, already exists in the U.S. immigration system. It has been used by Presidential authority to allow people facing humanitarian emergencies to remain in the United States.
The specific terms of the Parole proposed in the Build Back Better Bill are summarized below:
- Initial grant of parole for a period of 5 years or until September 30, 2031, whichever is earlier.
- Persons seeking parole must file an application with USCIS, typically on Form I-765 or a similar form to be determined.
- Applicants must pay a filing fee to cover the cost of processing the application.
- Applicants must complete security and law enforcement background checks to the satisfaction of the Secretary, which will require fingerprinting and photographs (biometrics).
- Applicants should not be inadmissible to the United States because of: criminal convictions; security and background checks; participation in smuggling of people; false claim to U.S. citizenship; child abduction or unlawful voters.
Once approved, the parole application will provide applicants with temporary work permit and travel authorization. Approved applicants will also be eligible for a driver’s license or identification card under the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Only undocumented applicants who entered or were admitted / paroled into the United States before January 1, 2011 are eligible to apply for Parole under the Build Back Better Bill.
Additionally, applicants will need to provide evidence that they have continuously resided in the United States since such entry. Continuous residence can be demonstrated, for example, with evidence of
- paying taxes in the U.S.;
- having title to a vehicle or home;
- leasing a home or apartment;
- completing any school studies in the U.S.,
- working in the U.S.
- marriage in the U.S. or having children in the U.S.
The next step in the legislative process is for the U.S. Senate to vote on its version of the Build Back Better Bill. The Senate’s rules referee (known as the Parliamentarian) has proven to be a major obstacle to efforts by Democrats to pass immigration legislation through the Reconciliation process that allows them to avoid a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. Republican Senators have express their uniform opposition to any immigration legislation and thus will not agree to any immigration legislation this fall.
Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.