But just in case, they’re preparing to identify and campaign for immigrant-friendly candidates in the mid-term election to improve the odds of full legalization in 2023.
“The Biden administration made lots of promises during their election campaign and we expect them to follow through on them,” said Juliana Macedo Do Nascimento, senior policy manager for United We Dream. “We are still very much focused on Build Back Better. It didn’t pass last year but we know Senate Democrats are working with their caucus to make sure it’s passed at the end of the day and the immigrant population is protected.”
The organization is made up of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Build Back Better included immigration provisions that experts say could help up to 7 million undocumented immigrants gain legal status. They include parole and work permits for those who arrived in the U.S. prior to 2011. It does not have specific privileges for DACA recipients, but they must renew their status every two years. DACA recipients and proponents took to the courts to defend the program when the Trump administration tried to end it.
Under Build Back Better, the so-called “Dreamers” would qualify for five-year work permits instead, be able to get a state driver’s license and apply for an increased number of employment-based “green cards” or legal permanent residence.
“Nobody deserves to live two-years at a time or court case to court case. We cannot live in fear of deportation. It’s about our humanity and our dignity,” said Macedo, who was brought into the U.S. from Brazil by her parents when she was 14.
The Build Back Better Act stalled in mid-December when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said he could not support it.
By Julian Resendiz for BORDER REPORT
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