Padilla Statement Applauding Executive Actions to Keep Families Together

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, issued the following statement on President Biden’s executive actions to protect noncitizen spouses and children of U.S. citizens from deportation and streamline their pathways to lawful permanent resident status. The executive actions will also help streamline the process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders and Dreamers who are college graduates to obtain work visas.

“With today’s announcements, the President will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of American families who will no longer have to live with fear and uncertainty of being torn apart or risk being separated for extended periods as they navigate the complex bureaucracy of our broken immigration system. President Biden often says that family is the beginning, the middle, and the end. By taking bold action to keep mixed-status families together, he has honored that conviction and given American families hope.  

“The President’s actions to provide DACA recipients and other undocumented college graduates with a clearer path to be sponsored for work visas also represents a significant step forward. This move will provide Dreamers the opportunity to continue contributing their talents to our communities and our workforce.

“These actions aren’t only the morally right thing to do, they are in America’s best interest. The individuals and families who will benefit from these protections contribute immensely to our economy and our country. They are living proof that the American Dream still exists — and today that American Dream moves forward. And I will continue fighting for the other long-term undocumented communities who deserve better than to live in the shadows.”

Earlier this year, Senator Padilla and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led 17 Senate Democrats in requesting administrative relief for undocumented individuals and DACA recipients in the United States, including both of the actions announced by the President today. Last month, he led a press conference alongside immigration advocates to call on President Biden to streamline pathways to lawful status for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, family caregivers, and other long-term residents.

Padilla has fought relentlessly to expand pathways to citizenship, including through legislation to expand a pathway to permanency for millions of long-term U.S. residents. His Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929 Act, would update the existing Registry statute so that certain noncitizens may qualify for lawful permanent resident status if they meet certain conditions, providing a much-needed pathway to a green card for more than 8 million people, including Dreamers, TPS holders, children of long-term visa holders, essential workers, and highly skilled members of our workforce. He also introduced the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers, including Dreamers.

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