“FWD.us strongly endorses the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929. This critical legislation would restore access to immigration registry – a long-standing pathway to permanent status and ultimately citizenship – for nearly 8 million individuals who are undocumented.
“Immigration registry has existed for nearly a century, and for most of that time it provided a commonsense way for people who had been in the United States for a very long time to have a pathway to attain permanent status. It is by no means the only way people should be able to secure permanent status, but it provides a commonsense backstop. Yet today, it’s inaccessible to nearly everyone because the eligibility dates have become extremely outdated – currently, to be eligible to benefit from immigration registry, an individual must have entered the United States at least 50 years ago.
“The past legislative mistakes that have kept the registry date in the early 1970s have been a huge part of creating the deeply and maliciously inflexible immigration system that we have today, which has in many cases trapped millions of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades.
“Updating the eligibility requirements is a straightforward solution. Congress has voted to advance registry eligibility multiple times with bipartisan support in the past. Given the huge benefits to our country and the strong public support that exists for allowing undocumented immigrants with long-standing ties to the U.S. to gain permanent status, Congress should act swiftly to send this legislation to President Biden’s desk.
“The individuals who would benefit from this legislation are long-term U.S. residents who have built their lives here – including Dreamers who came to the U.S. when they were very young, essential workers fighting to protect us through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, farmworkers and producers putting food on our tables, teachers serving in our classrooms, and first responders risking their lives to keep our communities safe. Millions have spouses and children who are U.S. citizens.
“The status quo – leaving millions of individuals in limbo – is both awful and absurd. This legislation not only has the advantage of positively transforming our country today, but would provide badly needed flexibility to the immigration system – one in which reforms often take decades too long. Congress should have acted many years ago, and the sooner Congress acts to provide a pathway to citizenship, the sooner these families can receive relief from the threat of separation and continue to build their lives in the country they have long called home.”