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Last week, eight Senate Democrats voted in favor of an amendment from Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) to block stimulus benefits from going to undocumented immigrants. Families with mixed statuses were excluded from the first round of stimulus payments last spring, but some were included in the second payment. Progressive Democrats pushed back, saying undocumented immigrants pay taxes and their U.S. citizen children should receive checks. “Our belief on this is that if you have an SSN you are eligible for the benefits in the American Rescue Plan,” a White House spokesperson said. Newsweek
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Works Through Nitty Gritty of Trump Immigration Rules
In the final days of the Trump administration, White House adviser Stephen Miller and other Trump cabinet members pushed through a final rule on wages from the Department of Labor. The rule boosted the required minimum wage employers must pay employment-based immigrants by 24–40 percent across a range of occupations, with a goal of strong-arming companies into hiring American workers. It’s just one of the dozens of Trump administration rules that President Joe Biden will have to contend with along with larger, more sweeping immigration matters. Other issues include the Optional Practical Training program, which Trump and Miller dismantled, and long U.S. Customs and Immigration Service work visa processing times. Forbes
Democrats Introduce Path to Legal Permanent Residency for TPS Holders
A group of over 20 Senate Democrats have reintroduced legislation designed to allow some immigrants with Temporary Protected Status to apply for legal permanent residency. The SECURE Act would allow immigrants who have fled armed conflict or other events to become legal permanent residents. This would include around 411,000 people from 10 countries. “We believe in keeping families together,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said. “The SECURE Act will make sure we keep families together. It will make sure that we have predictability.” CBS Baltimore