Washington, D.C.—In a bipartisan effort to allow asylum seekers find employment more quickly and become self-sufficient, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced legislation today to shorten the waiting period before asylum seekers are allowed to file for work authorizations.
“The change proposed by our bill will lessen the burden on the budgets of communities hosting asylum seekers while allowing these individuals and their families to support themselves as they want to do, bringing needed skills to the cities and towns in which they settle,” said Senator Collins. “I encourage my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation to permit these individuals to work and contribute to the local economy while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.”
“Our commonsense proposal allows individuals to stand on their own two feet and ensures women, children, and families fleeing violence and seeking asylum are treated fairly and humanely,” said Senator Sinema.
The Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2019 would allow asylum seekers to file for work authorizations 30 days after applying for asylum. Since asylum seekers cannot currently work to provide for themselves or their families for six months according to existing law, cities and towns where asylum seekers live are under pressure to support them, often by using local general assistance from taxpayers and volunteer contributions.
Click HERE to read the text of the bill.