What is the Dignity Act 2023 proposal?
This bill is a solution proposed in the U.S. Congress with the goal of solving several immigration-related problems. Its primary goal is to fully secure the border, restore law and order to the immigration system, and enact a 10-year Dignity Program that offers a renewable legal status and an optional path to permanent legalization. This proposal attempts to fix an immigration system that many believe has been broken for decades.
The Dignity Act was drafted in consultation with business leaders, agricultural and livestock industries, the faith community, immigration reform groups and border security experts. It was introduced by Rep. Salazar in March 2021, and in less than a year, it became a substantive immigration reform bill, which is a major accomplishment for a freshman member of Congress.
The bill has several key provisions. These include measures to fully secure the U.S. border, implement the best available border technology, restart all border infrastructure contracts currently on hold, hire new border security personnel, and increase criminal penalties for illegal border crossings.
In addition, the bill creates immediate legal status and a streamlined pathway for Dreamers, young people who came to the United States as children. Through the 10-year Dignity Program, undocumented immigrants will have the opportunity to work, obtain legal status, pay restitution and comply with the law. Participants in this program must contribute to the American Worker Fund to begin the program. The Dignity Program provides work authorization and protection from removal proceedings as long as conditions are met.
Importantly, individuals in the Dignity Program will not have access to federal means-tested benefits or entitlements. Thus, they will be net contributors to tax revenues and the U.S. economy.
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