FORT MYERS, Fla. — President Joe Biden's administration is planning to tackle and start reforming immigration this week by releasing the new U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.
Local immigration Attorney Pablo Hurtado says this new bill is a way for lawmakers to rethink how we’ve looked at immigration for the last 2 decades.
“Which is instead of enforcement first, and more enforcement and more enforcement, but really starting to look at the root issues of what causes immigration and also providing a more humanitarian approach. One to deal with the 10-12 million people that are already here undocumented,” said Pablo Hurtado, Founder of Hurtado Immigration Law Firm.
Hurtado says this might be a tough bill to pass but it will need bipartisan support. Affecting 10-12 million immigrants could be a major turning point with new changes for asylum seekers, DACA recipients, and more.
“These are folks that have had some kind of 2-year employment authorization going on for over 8 - 9 years now. So it’s time to say hey, we’ve already put you in the workforce, you’ve gone to school here, you're doctors, you’re nurses you're engineers, let's give you a permanent solution. As far as the asylum seekers, it's stopping the humanitarian crisis that was going on with almost 70,000 people waiting on the Mexico side to be able to apply for asylum. and to bring them in and give them their due process,” said Hurtado.
The economy Hurtado says, could also benefit from this bill's passing.
“Economically it will be a huge boom for the economy. They pay so many taxes, bring them into the economy, stop being in the shadows it's going to be great for our economy. As far as families, strengthening families is always a great American value, keeping families together generationally makes a huge impact on the economy as well,” said Hurtado.
Steve Maggi an immigration attorney and the founder of SMA Law says he’s heard arguments from the other side about the negative impacts this bill could have if passed.
“What are the costs of allowing them access to public benefits, to Medicaid, to education, food stamps especially during COVID where there are so many people out of work? What is the message that's underlying? Are they saying in a way, is it okay to come here and remain in the U.S. illegally until you get pardoned or until you get some sort of amnesty? Nobody will be completely pleased with the outcome, but we’re looking for what’s better for society in general,” said Steve Maggi.
Now both Hurtado and Maggi tell me this process takes time, until it's signed into law it's just a bill pending. However, if passed, they can start working with clients, preparing to prove their cases in court, but for now, be patient.