Large tech firms want the Biden administration to allow the children of work visa holders to remain in the United States past the age of 21.
Amazon, Uber, Alphabet Inc, Twitter, IBM and Salesforce jointly wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security on Monday urging the administration not to deport children due to delays in the processing of permanent residency requests.
After turning 21, foreigners can no longer stay in the US under parents’ work visas.
If applications for their own visas are not processed by that birthday — as is often happening amid pandemic-induced delays — they must leave.
Unlike millions of undocumented immigrants popularly known as “Dreamers” who have become eligible for temporary work permits, these “documented Dreamers” — a group that numbers over 200,000 — have not received relief.
Record-low unemployment across the country has left businesses concerned about losing prospective employees.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas late Monday, the tech companies joined with industry and lawyer associations to urge him “to establish more robust aging out policies” that would let young people remain in the US as long as permanent residency applications were under review.
Karan Bhatia, Google vice president of government affairs and public policy, said the administration could provide a temporary reprieve by interpreting regulations more favorably.
Google also supports lawmakers’ bipartisan efforts to pass the America’s Children Act, which would provide documented Dreamers a pathway to citizenship.
Uncertainty over their children’s status has discouraged some Google employees from working in the United States, Bhatia told Reuters.
“There is intense competition in the world to be at that technological edge, and the only way you get to that technological edge is by having the world’s best talent,” he said.
“We do have our highest and innovative work in the United States, so for these folks to be fully utilized, it would be optimal to have them in the United States.”
The Biden administration has been sensitive to criticism from Republicans who say that it has been lax in enforcing immigration law while permitting undocumented migrants to enter the country.
Up to 15,000 migrants — many of them from Central America, Venezuela and Cuba — may soon join a massive caravan that set off from southern Mexico toward the US border Monday, with its members calling on President Biden to repeal the Title 42 health policy by the time they reach the frontier.
“[Biden] promised the Haitian community he will help them,” one migrant from the Caribbean nation told Fox News. “He will recall Title 42. He will help us have real asylum.”
The caravan began its journey from Tapachula, less than 10 miles from Mexico’s border with Guatemala, a departure timed to coincide with the start of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
The new caravan comes as the US has seen a massive influx in attempted border crossings in Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
In April alone, border officials reported a new high of 234,088 encounters, with just under 97,000 people summarily expelled under Title 42 and more than 110,000 released into the US.
The Biden administration attempted to rescind the health policy last month. Title 42 has been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and has allowed border officials to quickly expel nearly 2 million migrants without hearing asylum claims.
With Post wires