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Pingree Condemns ‘Cruel’ GOP Immigration Bill, Says It Will ‘Will Only Create More Chaos’

“H.R. 2 is a cruel bill designed to delay the overdue and commonsense immigration reform we truly need and will only create more chaos,” Maine First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today denounced Republicans’ immigration bill, H.R. 2, which will jail children and families indefinitely and close off pathways for people legally seeking asylum. After voting against the bill on Thursday, Pingree released the following statement:

“House Republicans’ extreme immigration bill is not a solution to the influx of people seeking refuge from regional instability, violence, and natural disasters. H.R. 2 is a cruel bill designed to delay the overdue and commonsense immigration reform we truly need and will only create more chaos. House Republicans have no real interest in putting forth workable solutions. If they did, they would take up urgently needed immigration reforms like my Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, which would ease worker shortages, help local governments, and stimulate the economy. With asylees spending months to be able to work in their new communities, every district in America would benefit from my bill’s commonsense solution to correct the arbitrary work authorization waiting period. Asylum seekers are legally protected to be here, and they deserve the right to be self-sufficient and become part of their new communities. We must not turn our backs on them.” 

In March, Pingree reintroduced her Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, legislation that reduces the current 180-day waiting period for work authorization eligibility to 30 days, allowing an asylum seeker to apply for authorization as soon as the asylum claim is filed. The updated legislation would also eliminate the cumbersome 2-year renewal schedule. The bill makes no changes to law or regulation relating to the asylum process, but would have a significant impact on new asylum seekers in Maine—allowing them to gain work more quickly, become self-sufficient through the process of establishing roots in their new community, and contribute to our economy.


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