A new registry bill was introduced in Congress last week that could legalize 8.5M immigrants, giving them a pathway to citizenship. The “Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929” was introduced into the House of Representatives by Zoe Lofgren, and would allow any immigrants who have been in the United States for more than 7 years adjust their status to lawful permanent resident by submitting their I-485 to USCIS. Millions of Dreamers, essential workers, TPS, holders, and backlogged green card applicants would qualify, and they could adjust their status without a medical test, affidavit of support, or US petitioner. But what is the likelihood this bill will make it through Congress and be signed into law? Watch to find out!
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On July 20th, a new “registry bill” was introduced in Congress that could help 8.5 million undocumented immigrants adjust their status.
The bill—called the “Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929”—was introduced into the House of Representatives by Zoe Lofgren, along with 43 other co-sponsors.
But who exactly does the bill apply to, and how would they qualify? And what is the likelihood that the bill will be passed by Congress and become law?
Stay tuned because we’re going to answer all these questions as we take a closer look at details of the legislation.
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The Registry Act of 1929 said that immigrants who had continuously been in the country since 1921, were of “good moral character,” and who were not otherwise subject to deportation could receive a record of lawful admission and be allowed to adjust to lawful permanent resident status.
In later years, Congress continued to update the statutory eligibility requirements to 1924, then 1928, then 1940, and finally 1972 by former President Regan in the “Immigration Reform and Control Act” of 1986.
Since then, the subject of immigration has become politically polarized, preventing an updated registry date from making its way through Congress.
As a result, the number of immigrants who were able to adjust their status through registry has decreased over the past several decades, with only 305 people applying between the years 2015 and 2019.
If you regularly watch my channel then you probably remember me talking about registry when Congress was trying to pass the Build Back Better bill through budget reconciliation last year.
After the Senate Parliamentarian rejected the original immigration provisions in the bill, democrats introduced “plan B,” which proposed updating the registry date to 2010.
Unfortunately, that proposal was ultimately rejected by the parliamentarian as well, leaving the registry date frozen at 1972.
So what date does this new registry bill say, and which immigrants will be able to adjust their status as a result?
The new bill proposed last week actually creates a “rolling registry,” which means instead of updating the registry date every few decades, it will allow anyone who has been present in the United States for seven years to adjust their status.
According to USCIS, some of the other qualifications include:
There is no medical test, no financial affidavit of support, and no US petitioner required for registry applicants to succeed.
If passed this year, it is estimated that as many as 8.5 million immigrants would qualify, including millions of Dreamers, essential workers, TPS holders, and backlogged green card applicants.
In order to apply, registry candidates would submit the following to USCIS:
So what’s the likelihood of the “Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929” passing Congress?
If the bill passes in the House of Representatives, it will face a 60-vote threshold in the Senate due to the filibuster.
The chances of that happening are slim, but not impossible.
Similar to the Farm Workforce Modernization act—which has the most bipartisan support of any immigration reform bill currently in Congress—changes to the registry date have historically had bipartisan support.
And as we’ve discussed in some of my recent videos, Republican lawmakers have been showing increasing acceptance of immigration measures as a shrinking workforce threatens the economy.
Undocumented workers covered by the bill already contribute approximately $126 billion to the US economy each year, and it’s estimated they would contribute an additional $83 billion if they became US citizens.
What do you think? Will this bill pass the House? Will it make it through the Senate?