El Paso, TX

Bipartisan Border Legislation Offers Hope For Undocumented Immigrants in the US

Tom Handy

Representative Veronica EscobarPhoto byTwitter

The border City of El Paso has extended its emergency declaration another month even as the number of migrants crossing the border has decreased. Title 42 ended on May 11 and the expected surge of migrants didn’t happen as expected.

Operations Emergency Management coordinator Lieutenant Jorge Rodriguez said:

“We have seen something quite significant over the past seven days that is not what we had anticipated. The daily number of apprehensions is down dramatically and they are averaging 600 encounters a day from Border Patrol.”

After numerous calls for Congress to pass legislation on immigration, a new bill recently announced has hopes.

A Democrat from El Paso may have some more positive news for the city and country. On Tuesday, Representative Veronica Escobar released bipartisan border legislation that provides a legal pathway for undocumented migrants to become citizens who cross the border of Mexico and Canada.

Veronica Escobar has worked with Republican Representative María Elvira Salazar of Florida, Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico, and Lori Chavez-DeRemer of California along with Democrats Kathy Manning of North Carolina and Hillary Scholten of Michigan.

Senator Chris Coons, D-Delaware also supports the new bill.

The bill is called the “Dignity Program” and it provides undocumented immigrants legal status if they pay taxes and undergo a criminal background check. The program would allow about 11 million people who are in the United States the right to work and travel. For employers, it encourages them to use the E-Verify system to check an employee’s immigration status.

Escobar said:

“There is, I think, an opportunity with a House of Representatives and with a Senate where there’s not an overwhelming majority on either side. In other words, there’s an opportunity through the middle to come up with a solution.”

The bill has high hopes but as in the past, it will have to get through the Senate who last time a bill was initiated, it died in a 2013 Congressional session.

Salazar, Escobar, and others make the immigration bill announcement.

Do you think Congress will pass this immigration bill?

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