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House spending bill’s immigration provisions are historic

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Rachel Rhodes

The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a $1.75 trillion social spending bill.


Stephen Yale-Loehr

Professor of Immigration Law

Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says the House bill’s immigration provisions, while more limited than originally proposed, would still be the most significant immigration legislation in decades.

Yale-Loehr says: 

“The House of Representatives is likely to vote today on a $1.75 trillion social spending bill. The 2,135-page bill includes a number of significant immigration provisions, including up to 10 years of work authorization for undocumented people living in the United States.The bill would also give the Department of Homeland Security $2.8 billion to help process immigration applications and reduce case processing backlogs.The bill would also recapture family-sponsored and employment-based green cards that went unused over the last 20 years.” 

“The House bill would raise money by imposing fees on various immigration petitions. For example, immigrant investors would have to pay an additional $15,000. Students applying to work after graduation would have to pay an additional $500. House lawmakers hope that these provisions will pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian, who has rejected more expansive immigration provisions twice before.”

“The House bill would not offer a path toward legalization for the estimated 10 million noncitizens who lack immigration status. However, if enacted, the House bill’s immigration provisions would still constitute the most significant immigration changes in decades, and would provide a start to fixing our broken immigration system.”

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