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house Bill H.R. 2813

Should the Work Authorization Wait Time for Asylum Seekers be Shortened from 180 to 30 Days?

Argument in favor

Asylum seekers are currently subjected to an overly long waiting period for work authorization. During this time, they’re financially and socially vulnerable due to their inability to work to support themselves and their families. Shortening the wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorization applications would help them establish their lives in the U.S. and become productive members of their communities sooner.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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06/21/2019
What is it you people don’t get? Seeking asylum is NOT illegal. Caging people Costs us money. The longer we do so the More it costs. Let these people get to work and become useful members of society and pay their way. For crying out loud act like the Christians you claim to be. That’s funny Russell. The greatest quote that doesn’t come from the Bible. It’s Ben Franklin’s and he was a Diest. And before that Aesop’s Fables. Actually God helps those who are helpless.
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JamieD's Opinion
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06/21/2019
If we don’t want immigrants being a “burden” on our system, we should allow them to do what they came here to do: provide a safe and secure future for themselves and their families.
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jimK's Opinion
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06/21/2019
I disagree with the argument that decreasing the wait time makes asylum more attractive. These folks have already cashed it all in to get here. They are motivated and anxious to be part of this country. Let them find work as soon as possible. Let’s be an inclusive, supportive country that welcomes those who want to do what it takes to “Make America Great” again.
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Argument opposed

Argument Against: The 180 day wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations is already too short, serving as a major draw for asylum seekers to come to the U.S. versus other countries. Shortening the wait time further is the exact opposite of what the U.S. should do; and in fact, the Trump administration is already seeking to extend the wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations to 365 days.

Raymond 's Opinion
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06/21/2019
Considering how many illegals we have coming across the border thanks to leftist liberals absolutely not. Let’s at least Verify these people. We have no idea who they are. Kinda putting the cart before the horse. As normal though this website is DISHONEST in there reporting.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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06/21/2019
👎🏻 H.R. 2813 AKA the “Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019” 👎🏻 I stand strongly opposed H.R. 2813 AKA the “Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019” which would shorten the waiting period for asylum seekers waiting for their applications to be processed to receive work authorization. Under this bill, they could apply for work authorization immediately after applying for asylum, and the authorization would be granted 30 days after their asylum application is filed. It would initially be granted for a one year period, after which it could be renewed for additional one year periods as long as the applicant’s claim is still being adjudicated. Argument Against: The 180 day wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations is already too short, serving as a major draw for asylum seekers to come to the U.S. versus other countries. Shortening the wait time further is the exact opposite of what the U.S. should do; and in fact, the Trump administration is already seeking to extend the wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations to 365 days. SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👎🏻HR.2813 👎🏻👎🏻. 6.21.19.....
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B.R.'s Opinion
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06/22/2019
While I can understand the argument for expediting the work process, there is a risk to not following the process. There is a reason for the process and as long as their application is still being adjudicated, their request for asylum has not been approved yet. The count is still 1....2....3, not 2...3...1.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedMay 16th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2813?

This bill — the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019 — would shorten the waiting period for asylum seekers waiting for their applications to be processed to receive work authorization. Under this bill, they could apply for work authorization immediately after applying for asylum, and the authorization would be granted 30 days after their asylum application is filed. It would initially be granted for a one year period, after which it could be renewed for additional one year periods as long as the applicant’s claim is still being adjudicated.

Currently, asylum seekers must wait 180 days to receive work authorization. This bill would make no other changes to the asylum process.

Impact

Prospective employers of asylum seekers; asylum seekers; and work authorization for asylum seekers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2813

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced this bill to permit asylum seekers to receive work authorization while their application is being processed. In a meeting with a coalition of Maine mayors in Portland, Maine in which she announced her plans to introduced this legislation, Rep. Pingree said:

“What I heard today from these mayors is that the asylum seekers coming to their communities have opened up many opportunities—from increasing diversity to strengthening the labor force—but also a number of challenges. One of the biggest is that asylum seekers must wait six months before they are eligible to work.  My legislation would sharply reduce that period, so they can more quickly support their families and add their skills to Maine’s workforce.

In a press release discussing an influx of asylum seekers to Portland, Maine, Rep. Pingree said:

“Most of the migrants who have arrived in Portland these past few days have had long, harrowing journeys from conflict-torn countries. These families choose to leave their homes for a reason and are seeking refuge here for the opportunity of a better life. For them, Maine means hope. Portland has long been a welcoming city for immigrants and refugees. We should celebrate that and be supportive in any way possible. It has been heartening to see city leaders and community partners come together so quickly on behalf of these individuals, as they often have before. On the federal level, we need overarching, comprehensive immigration reform. I introduced a bill to allow asylum seekers to gain work and contribute to our local economy quickly, rather than wait 180 days under current law. The United States should be giving newcomers the opportunity to live a safe and fulfilling life."

In an interview with the Portland Press Herald, Rep. Pingree discussed this bill’s necessity in the broader context of helping asylum seekers become productive members of their communities, saying, “This could have an impact on these new asylum seekers, allowing them to work and be self-sufficient through the process of establishing roots in this community.”

During the Trump administration, the current United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) head, Lee Francis Cissna, has sought to recast the agency as a strict enforcer of immigration laws. To this end, in April 2019, the Trump administration proposed an increase in the asylum seeker work authorization waiting period, from the current 180 days to a full year (365 days). The proposal, authored by USCIS officials, took the form of a not-yet finalized regulation. Simultaneously, the agency has been working on a separate proposal to institute a $50 fee for those who file for asylum after entering the U.S.

A senior administration official told Axios that the move reflected the White House’s frustration with granting work permits to asylum seekers soon after their entry into the country, which the administration perceives as “a major draw” for people to cross the border illegally whether or not they have a valid claim for asylum. The official characterized the current 180-day waiting period as “charity toward all, malice toward none.”

Ur Jaddou, former USCIS chief counsel, criticized the proposed increase in work authorization wait time as nonsensical:

“It doesn’t make any sense. If you’re going to say to a person that they will be considered for asylum and they have to wait, how are they going to feed themselves? How are they going to feed their families? Isn’t that the exact opposite of what we want people to do?”

This bill has eight Democratic House cosponsors. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) has indicated that he plans to introduce similar legislation in the Senate but has yet to do so.


Of NoteUnder a federal law passed in 1996, asylum seekers can’t work for 180 days after they apply for asylum (they can apply for work authorization 150 days after applying for asylum, and the work authorization then takes 30 days to process). During this time, they have few means to support themselves and their families. In a letter to her Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill, Rep. Pingree’s office adds that “[o]ften, because of technical issues and delays in processing work authorization requests, this time period can be much longer” than the 150 days. Her office concludes, “In practical terms, this arbitrary waiting period is denying American businesses access to an able-bodied workforce at a time when they desperately need employees.”

Human Rights First finds that the current work authorization permit wait time “leaves many asylum seekers, who are often traumatized and vulnerable, in precarious situations—homeless, unable to feed themselves and their children, and struggling to get health care.” The organization reports that asylum seekers without means to survive “must rely on friends, family, or local communities for support,” but some who lack support networks suffer abuse and exploitation as undocumented workers while waiting for work authorization. Others become homeless, live in overcrowded or unsafe conditions and go wanting for basic needs such as food and clothing. The organization adds that “[w]ithout work authorization, asylum seekers cannot purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act or obtain a social security number, and often cannot apply for a state-issued identification card or driver’s license, which further limits access to transportation, banking, and private-support services. Lack of income also hinders opportunities to find and retain competent legal counsel.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Andreypopov)

AKA

Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019

Official Title

To permit aliens seeking asylum to be eligible for employment in the United States and for other purposes.

    What is it you people don’t get? Seeking asylum is NOT illegal. Caging people Costs us money. The longer we do so the More it costs. Let these people get to work and become useful members of society and pay their way. For crying out loud act like the Christians you claim to be. That’s funny Russell. The greatest quote that doesn’t come from the Bible. It’s Ben Franklin’s and he was a Diest. And before that Aesop’s Fables. Actually God helps those who are helpless.
    Like (166)
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    Considering how many illegals we have coming across the border thanks to leftist liberals absolutely not. Let’s at least Verify these people. We have no idea who they are. Kinda putting the cart before the horse. As normal though this website is DISHONEST in there reporting.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    If we don’t want immigrants being a “burden” on our system, we should allow them to do what they came here to do: provide a safe and secure future for themselves and their families.
    Like (84)
    Follow
    Share
    I disagree with the argument that decreasing the wait time makes asylum more attractive. These folks have already cashed it all in to get here. They are motivated and anxious to be part of this country. Let them find work as soon as possible. Let’s be an inclusive, supportive country that welcomes those who want to do what it takes to “Make America Great” again.
    Like (74)
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    Seeking asylum in the United States is not only completely legal, but is protected by US and international laws. Asylees (both those seeking and those granted asylum) are not the dreaded "illegals" that a certain kind of American loves to hate. The alternative to letting asylees work is their being here without being able to contribute to society in any meaningful way. How is that better for us as a nation? When people work, everyone is better for it. The fear that “they're coming to take our jobs“ assumes a fixed number of jobs, which is not and never has been true. When asylees are working, they are less likely to need charity, so that charity can go to help others. Asylees are eligible for very limited state and federal assistance, and if allowed to work, typically pay about $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits.
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    Everyone benefits from this bill. Employers have more potential employees, and asylum seekers can immediately begin contributing to both their own welfare and the U.S.
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    Let asylum seekers work on work permits as quickly as possible ... it is the best for our country and for the asylum seekers.
    Like (23)
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    👎🏻 H.R. 2813 AKA the “Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019” 👎🏻 I stand strongly opposed H.R. 2813 AKA the “Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019” which would shorten the waiting period for asylum seekers waiting for their applications to be processed to receive work authorization. Under this bill, they could apply for work authorization immediately after applying for asylum, and the authorization would be granted 30 days after their asylum application is filed. It would initially be granted for a one year period, after which it could be renewed for additional one year periods as long as the applicant’s claim is still being adjudicated. Argument Against: The 180 day wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations is already too short, serving as a major draw for asylum seekers to come to the U.S. versus other countries. Shortening the wait time further is the exact opposite of what the U.S. should do; and in fact, the Trump administration is already seeking to extend the wait time for asylum seekers’ work authorizations to 365 days. SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👎🏻HR.2813 👎🏻👎🏻. 6.21.19.....
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    People need to work. Let them work.
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    Hopefully this will make the review more efficient. Give it a try.
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    They want to work. Let them!
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    While I can understand the argument for expediting the work process, there is a risk to not following the process. There is a reason for the process and as long as their application is still being adjudicated, their request for asylum has not been approved yet. The count is still 1....2....3, not 2...3...1.
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    These people are seeking Asylum due to what our military has done to their country. They provide better work per hour than any other I have worked with. The reason you feel they take jobs from citizens is that the person who’s job is lost sucked at it anyway. Get a Grip!!!
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    No work permits. Instead, asylum claims should be processed in 30 days or less. We cannot have a liberal social welfare system AND open borders. One or the other. Not both.
    Like (15)
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    Yes. The sooner people can get a legal status, the better.
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    For those people who say that immigrants are living off our taxes then how about making it quicker and easier for these poor people to legally work? They gladly take the crappiest jobs that no one else wants to do, work at back breaking labor, and we still throw obstacles in their way. Jesus would be tearing down way more than a temple here.
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    We must not be so shortsighted to think we don’t need our neighbors. We need each other, plain and simple.
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    Give people asylum, shorten the time and let them work!! Immigrants add millions to the economy!!!
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    If we actually want immigrants to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” as right wingers loved to say, then we should allow asylum seekers to be able to start working as soon as possible so that they can provide for their families and start a new life!
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    A man who is working will assimilate faster than one who is unproductive.
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