Durbin, Pritzker, Congressional Leaders, Immigration Coalition Urge President biden to Expand Work Authorizations

Durbin on Illinois’ request for Biden Administration to create a state-sponsored parole program: “States should have a say in how immigration can make our economies stronger, not just bureaucrats in Washington”

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined a press conference hosted by American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) Action to urge President Biden to use his existing legal authority to expand work authorizations and help address the labor shortage crisis.

“I’m grateful to stand with felloww Members of Congress, business leaders, and immigrant community leaders to push for immigration reform today.  Like Illinois, many states are facing the challenges presented by a labor shortage crisis. In fact, Republican and Democratic governors alike – including Governor Pritzker – are pushing for the Biden Administration to create a state-sponsored parole program. States should have a say in how immigration can make our economies stronger, not just bureaucrats in Washington. I’ll keep doing my part and pressing forimmigration reform in Congress and the executive branch, and I won’t stop until it gets done,” said Durbin.

Joining Durbin and ABIC Action at the press conference were:

  • Governor JB Pritzker
  • U.S. Representative Jesús G. “Chuy” García
  • U.S. Representative Delia Ramirez
  • U.S. Representative Mike Quigley
  • U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky
  • U.S. Representative Robin Kelly
  • Rebecca Shi, Executive Director of ABIC Action
  • Numerous industry, business, and nongovernmental organization leaders from Illinois                     

As the lead author of the Dream Act and Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Durbin has been a champion for immigration reform in Congress for years.

In May, Durbin led his colleagues to urgePresident Biden to allow states to sponsor workers to meet their urgent workforce needs. In a letter to the Biden Administration earlier this week, Governor Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson echoed the request for the Administration to create a state-sponsored parole program, citing that 13,000+ asylum seekers have arrived in Chicago since last year, but many have struggled to obtain work permits.

In July, Durbin led a request to Secretary Mayorkas to redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela and Nicaragua, which would provide nationals of those countries in the United States with stability and eligibility for a work permit.

Additionally, Durbin has announced support for increased funding for both Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, both of which have significant asylum backlogs, in both the FY 2024 appropriations cycle and his Border Management, Security, and Assistance Act of 2023.