Legislation focuses on comprehensive support for language, workforce, legal needs; increasing refugee admissions


VIDEO: https://bit.ly/2IygwUB


Washington (March 9, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today introduced the New Deal for New Americans Act, legislation that promotes immigrant and refugee inclusion, as well as coordinates the efforts of federal, state, and local governments to support the social, economic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees. As President Donald Trump uses executive orders, guidance, rulemaking, and informal directives to demonize immigrants and refugees the New Deal for New Americans reflects a proactive, affirmative vision for our nation in which the federal government commits significant resources to support immigrants and refugees. Representatives Grace Meng (NY-06), Jesús García (IL-04), and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) have previously introduced legislation in the House of Representatives.


“We know immigrant families want the opportunity to contribute to their communities and to provide for themselves and their loved ones,” said Senator Markey. “The New Deal for New Americans Act provides that opportunity – not just to survive in the United States, but to fully thrive. This legislation is a clear vision of what a humane and welcoming immigration system looks like, which includes providing comprehensive support for legal, economic, and language needs. I am proud to introduce this legislation that reflects the values of a nation built by immigrants.”


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. A one-page summary of the legislation can be found HERE.


Specific provisions in the legislation include to

  • Establish a National Office of New Americans in the Executive Office of the White House to promote and support immigrant and refugee inclusion, as well as coordinate efforts of federal, state, and local governments to support social, economic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees
  • Establish a Federal Initiative on New Americans to coordinate a federal response to issues that affect the lives of new immigrants and refugees, and the communities in which they reside
  • Create a Legal Services and Immigration Assistance Grant Program to support organizations that provide direct assistance to those in need of immigration screening; know-your-rights education; assistance in applying for citizenship, lawful permanent resident status, or other legal status; or seeking relief from a removal order
  • Create an English as a Gateway to Integration Program for organizations that teach English or help individuals earn a GED or prepare for naturalization
  • Create a Workforce Development Grant Program to ensure that immigrant and refugee adults have equitable access to workforce programs that help equip them with occupational skills needed to secure or advance in employment
  • Promote civic engagement through automatic voter registration of newly naturalized individuals
  • Bolster family reunification by reducing (from 21 years old to 18 years old) the age at which citizens can petition for eligible family members to receive an immigrant visa
  • Increase refugee admissions to at least 110,000 per fiscal year
  • Amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to no longer allow for the deportation of an individual deemed a public charge


Organizations endorsing the New Deal for New Americans Act include: Academy of Medical & Public Health Services, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, America’s Voice, Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, Arkansas United, Asian American Federation, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Campaign-Urbana Public Health District, CASA, Causa, Community Change, Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), Church World Service, Cities for Action, Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), Comunidades Unidas, Crosswas Consulting, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Farmworker Justice, Florida Immigrant Rights Coalition (FLIC), Global Cleveland, Global Detroit, Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Healthy Illinois Campaign, HIAS Pennsylvania, Hispanic Federation, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), Homies Unidos, Immigration Hub, IMPRINT, International Council for Refugees and Immigrants, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Refugee Assistance Project, International Rescue Committee, Junta for Progressive Action, Justice for Our Neighbors – Michigan, Kentucky Refugee Ministries (Knoxville, Tennessee), Latin American Coalition (Los Angeles, California), Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Maine People’s Alliance, Make the Road, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in The US, Mobile Pathways, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Immigration Law Center, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, National Partnership for New Americans, National Skills Coalition, Nebraska Appleseed, NETWORK Lobby, New American Leaders, New York Immigration Coalition, Northwest Side Housing Center, City of Albuquerque Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, OneAmerica, OneJustice, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Promise Arizona, Refugee Congress, River City Federal Credit Union, Rural Women's Health Project, Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN); Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, SPLC Action Fund, Sunflower Community Action, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, The Legal Clinic (Justice for Our Neighbors Hawaii), The Next100, The Resurrection Project, Treetops Collective, UnidosUS, UNITE HERE, Unite Oregon, United Farm Workers Foundation, United We Dream, VAYLA New Orleans, Voces de la Frontera, We Are All America, Workers Defense Project, and World Education Services.