A stimulus package proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives includes a number of items that will benefit illegal immigrants — including an expansion of stimulus checks and protections from deportations for illegal immigrants in certain “essential” jobs.
The $2.2 trillion bill includes language that allows some illegal immigrants — who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” — to be placed into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet certain conditions.
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It also grants protections to those employers who hire those undocumented immigrants, ordering that “the hiring, employment or continued employment” of the defined group is not in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That lasts until 90 days after the public health emergency is ended.
A Democratic description of that part of the bill says that “such workers are deemed to be in a period of deferred action and to be authorized for employment, and employers are shielded from certain immigration-related violations for employing such workers.”
It’s language that was included in the first House Democratic stimulus bill proposed back in May — a bill that was ultimately rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Also in the legislation is language that would allow the a second round of stimulus checks, $1,200 per adults and $500 per dependant, to be extended to those without a social security number — including those in the country illegally who file taxes via an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
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The bill also would require the Department of Homeland Security to review the files of those in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and to prioritize those for release if they are not a threat to national security. It also demands migrants have access to free video calls and access to virtual legal assistance from nonprofits.
Those parts of the bill were criticized by immigration hawks like the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
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“Once again House Democrats are trying to bailout millions of illegal aliens – and not just financially, but give them de facto amnesty as well,” FAIR’s government relations director RJ Hauman told Fox News. “This would be an unprecedented move and take desperately needed money and jobs away from Americans in the middle of a pandemic. Even though it has absolutely zero chance of becoming law, I hope voters are paying close attention.”
The House was expected to vote on the bill Wednesday evening, but it was later delayed to allow Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin another day to attempt to thrash out a deal.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.