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USCCB committee chairman backs Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act

April 17, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, has lent his support to the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act.

The legislation “would significantly reduce the amount of time that bona fide asylum seekers must wait before applying for employment authorization, allowing them to begin the process of finding work and providing for themselves and their families in the United States,” he wrote in an April 12 letter to members of Congress. “As a result, those having their asylum claims adjudicated will be less susceptible to human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.”

The legislation “would offer a practical solution to our nation’s current labor shortages by allowing asylum seekers to legally join the workforce and contribute to their local communities,” he added.

The House version of the legislation is sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME); the Senate version, by Rep. Susan Collins (R-ME).

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