TFC News

'Long overdue': Biden pressed on immigration reform

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Feb 25 2022 09:56 AM

Watch more on iWantTFC

Immigrant rights groups trooped to the Los Angeles Civic Center on Presidents' Day with a plea for President Joe Biden.

"Whatever you are we want the President to approve citizenship to all the undocumented (immigrants) in America," Rock Delgado of the Pilipino Workers Center said.

A year into Biden’s presidency, they said his administration has yet to make substantial progress on comprehensive immigration reform, which includes a pathway to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants.

They admit it has been frustrating to go through several administrations, with still no significant movement on a very pressing issue.

"We are unhappy with what they are doing so far because we have waited," human trafficking survivor Teresita Villasenor said. "This is long overdue."

Said Jay Gonzalez, also of the Pilipino Workers Center: "I’m here today out supporting my friends to claim the immigration that is long overdue. President Biden should act now. Three presidents have passed. I think this is the right time for Democrats to fix immigration."

The Build Back Better Act did not include immigration provisions.

But earlier this month, Republican lawmaker Maria Salazar (Florida) introduced a 10-year dignity program which provides renewable legal status, and offers an additional optional redemption path to permanent legalization.

It also streamlines DACA and TPS programs, and mandates e-Verify nationwide.

Advocates said they are still studying this specific proposal, while calling on Biden to consider immigrant workers in his recovery plans.

"He wants to make our country grand and strong and healthy again," said Aqui Soriano of the Pilipino Workers Center. "In order to do that, there has to be a full recovery with everyone included and we have to fix this broken immigration system that is causing inequities and inequality in the country today."

This past week the Biden administration announced that it will introduce a regulation that would make it difficult for future administrations to make so-called public charge rules.

The move would ban immigrants who accept public benefits from applying for green cards.