Latino officials call for work permit extension to protect immigrants – NBC10 Philadelphia

As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visit Philadelphia to launch a campaign targeting Black voters, elected officials and the leaders of several community organizations gathered at City Hall to call for an extension of work permits for long-term residents .

“Extending the work permit is the right thing to do,” said Patty Torres, co-deputy director of the groups Make the Road PA & Make the Road Action in PA.

Throughout the day, Torres and other speakers urged Biden to use his executive power to grant work permits to undocumented spouses and immediate family members of U.S. citizens, Dreamers ineligible for DACA and long-term workers without a path to employment. legal status.

Torres said the move would allow families to stay together.

And, she noted, undocumented immigrants pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

According to information from the American Business Immigration Coalition, 63% of illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania are employed, and mostly they are. in waste management, food services, construction, manufacturing and healthcare.

The day’s organizers said that not only can those who need a work permit work, but they have also been paying taxes for years, even decades.

The coalition also claims that 84% of undocumented immigrants in Pennsylvania are of working age, but without permits they cannot legally work.

Yet the coalition noted that these individuals still pay $481 million in federal, state and local taxes and tap into $3.4 billion in purchasing power.

By extending work permits, the coalition says it could increase annual tax revenues by $13.8 billion and protect immigrants from exploitation.

“Granting work permits to these groups would protect undocumented immigrants from deportation in the long term and allow them to work with dignity and without fear,” coalition officials said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.

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