While Senate bill 744 is a compromise full of unnecessary and overstrict border measures, IT IS full of provisions that would substantially improve the lives of immigrants. Here's a short list of some of them:
1. Path to citizenship for vast majority of the 11 million!!!
2. While in RPI status, immigrants can work, travel and live without fear of deportation
3. Reunification of many families separated by deportation
4. 5 year path to citizenship for Dreamers
5. DACA recipients will have RPI status expedited
6. Farm workers will get a 'blue card' and will be on a 5 year path to citizenship
7. Expedited path for those already here in a temporary status (TPS/DED)
8. Families that have spent years, even decades waiting for their turn in line will finally be reunited
9. Spouses and children of LPRs would be considered immediate family members and therefore would no longer be subject to arbitrary visa caps.
10. Allows DREAMers to become citizens through military service
11. Immigrants on the path to citizenship can pay fees in installments
12 .Individuals with final removal orders may be eligible for RPI status
13. Beacons for those toiling at the border
14. New temporary worker programs that protects immigrant workers and American labor force
15. All workers, including RPIs, will be treated equally by the tax system and eligible for tax credits
16. Spouses of H-1B holders will now be able to work
17. Immigration Judges will have some flexibility to consider individual factors when making decisions
18. Children and the mentally disabled will be eligible for court appointed counsel in immigration proceedings
19. Removal of filing deadline for asylum seekers
20. Encourages immigrant integration through more targeted programs and foundations to help legal immigrants become citizens
21. Inclusion of POWER Act, bolsters legal remedies to immigrant workers who are fired in violation of labor laws
22. Strict limits on solitary confinement in immigration detention facilities
23. Asylum applicants will be granted work authorization within 180 days of filing an application
24. Provides immigration status to certain battered spouses and children
25. Prohibit ICE from conducting raids/arrests outside schools, churches, hospitals and other "sensitive locations"
26. Prohibits deportation of immigrants for a crime that wasn't a deportable/inadmissible offense when committed.
27. Makes it substantially easier for both LPRs and non-LPRs to qualify for cancellation of removal, and removes the cap on the number of cancellations that DOJ/DHS can grant in a year.
28. Protects the ability of W visaholders (essential workers) to change jobs.
29. Ensures access to affordable housing for battered immigrants.
30. Encourages alternatives to immigration detention
31. More protections for workers recruited abroad
32. Stricter penalties for notario fraud
33. Requires a use-of-force policy among all DHS agencies
34. 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
Thanks to the Alliance for Citizenship for this information!