Biden Grants Work Permits For Illegal Immigrants

President Biden’s decision to grant work permits to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants and Afghan nationals, including those in the country illegally, has drawn sharp criticism from some business owners, according to a recent report by The New York Times.

Last September, the Biden administration announced the move amid a historic surge at the southern border. However, the decision has left some business owners and immigrants who have been in the U.S. for years feeling slighted.

Sam Sanchez, a Chicago restaurant owner and board member of the National Restaurant Association, expressed his frustration, calling the decision “offensive” and arguing that his employees and other immigrants who have been in the country for decades are being “leapfrogged” by new arrivals.

Immigrants who have been working in the U.S. for years also shared their discontent. “For those of us here a long time trying to do everything right, it’s just not fair that we are forgotten,” said Juan, an immigrant whose immigration status was not revealed.

Eduardo Gamarra, a professor at Florida International University who recently polled Latino voters in the U.S. about their views on immigration, suggested that many Latino voters disagree with Biden’s approach of helping new arrivals over immigrants who have come to the U.S. legally or have worked in the country for decades.

Meanwhile, sanctuary city leaders and immigration activists are pressuring the Biden administration to extend work permits to all illegal immigrants. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have urged the Department of Homeland Security to extend existing work permits, arguing that failure to do so would result in job losses, business struggles, and difficulties in catering to new asylum seekers.

Earlier this month, Johnson pushed for work permits to be granted to nearly 500,000 illegal migrants and stated that Chicago, with a population of roughly 2.7 million, could “conservatively” welcome an additional 400,000 to 700,000 illegal migrants.

However, the Chicago Sun Times editorial board criticized this move, arguing that allowing so many migrants to obtain work permits would create more chaos at the southern border and hurt President Biden politically. The board maintained that while the immigration system needs fixing, asking the president to authorize work permits for millions of undocumented immigrants is the wrong approach and might not withstand judicial scrutiny.

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