The ‘Dignity Act’ is a law that protects people’s dignity. Mandatory E-Verify, a Path to Citizenship, and Border Security are all included in the immigration bill. Democrats in Congress attempted to incorporate immigration reforms in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) in December 2021.
Some of the suggestions would have aided undocumented immigrants by granting parole and work authorization to eligible individuals. Green card backlogs would have been lessened, and certain applicants would have received expedited green cards for a price under the bill. However, the BBBA has not materialized.
The Dignity Act was sponsored by Republican congressman Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) and other Republican supporters as a “rebuttal” to the BBBA. The Dignity Act proposes a remedy for undocumented immigrants and modifications to the H-2A and H-2B temporary season worker visa programs in exchange for securing the border and making E-Verify mandatory.
The Dignity Act’s Most Important Provisions:
- Border Enforcement and Security
- Authorizes money to completely safeguard the United States border at no expense to taxpayers.
- Uses the most up-to-date border technology, such as radar, cameras, infrared, secure communications, and autonomous detection.
- Restarts all border infrastructure contracts that have been suspended and boosts financing for physical border infrastructure.
- Hires 3,000 new DHS border security officers, with military veterans and law enforcement agents being prioritized.
- Establishes a task team to find and demolish cartel smuggling tunnels on the southern border.
- Requires 100% countrywide e-verification to ensure that all American firms hire lawful labor.
- Increases criminal penalties for unlawful border crossings and deports criminal illegal immigrants quickly.
- Allows US authorities to pursue transnational criminals, smugglers, human traffickers, drug traffickers, and gangs such as MS-13 that operate outside of the US.
- Creates four Regional Processing Centers to hold asylum seekers at the border, putting a halt to the catch-and-release policy while cases are resolved.
- Enacts a judicial policy of last-in, first-out to reduce the multi-year backlog in immigration courts.
- Hires 1,700 new immigration court employees to expedite the adjudication of asylum claims.
- Bringing law, order, and increased development to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, halting irregular migration from Central America, and addressing the core reasons for northern migration.
- Addressing Immigrants in the United States.
- Border Enforcement and Security.
- Provides Dreamers with immediate legal status and an expedited path to citizenship.
- Dignity Program (10 Years): Undocumented immigrants will be given a chance to work, obtain legal status, pay reparations, and make amends with the law under the 10-year Dignity Program. They must follow all federal and state regulations, pass a criminal background check, work or provide care for a family, and pay taxes. To begin the program, they must contribute to the American Worker Fund. The Dignity program gives work authorization and protection against removal proceedings as long as the prerequisites are followed. During the 10-year program, participants must pay $10,000 in reparations, check in with DHS every two years, and maintain good public standing.
- The Dignity Program excludes those enrolled in it from federal means-tested benefits or entitlements. They will be net contributors to tax revenue and the economy of the United States.
- The Redemption Program (+5 years): The Redemption Program is voluntary, and to begin it, persons must first finish the 10-year Dignity Program. It will provide an opportunity for repentance and a more permanent legal status. The 5-year Redemption Program demands participants to study English and American civics, and it allows people seeking permanent legal status to give back to their community through local volunteer work, national community service, or enhanced donations to the American Worker Fund. It also expands eligibility for existing citizenship paths but does not create a new one. Those that applied would be placed at the rear of the line.
- Before the Redemption Program can commence, a fully functional required e-verify system and a properly secure border certification must be achieved.
- The Workforce and Economy in the United States
- Establishes a free-of-charge American Worker Fund using reparation payments from the Dignity and Redemption programs. This program gives funding to citizens of the United States for workforce education initiatives, apprenticeship programs, and Career and Technical Education to enable Americans to pursue new jobs.
- For every $10,000 paid in the Dignity program by one immigrant, at least two American workers can be retrained.
- Develops and implement a market-based solution to our labor shortages by expanding and modernizing the H-2A Agricultural Guest Worker program to meet workforce demands.
- Revises the outmoded definition of farming to match modern-day farming practices, establishing a policy that benefits all farmers, producers, and ranchers in the United States.
- Ensures a resilient and stable agricultural commodities supply chain by providing wage stability for farmers.
- Fights food price inflation so that families may continue to buy low-cost groceries and a wide range of items made on American farms.
- Incorporates the H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act, which ensures that small and seasonal enterprises can meet their workforce needs and contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery of our country.