House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley is slated to introduce a bill that would work illegal immigrants who served as 9/11 recovery workers green cards, The Hill reported Friday.
Crowley, who represents New York’s 14 congressional districts, argues that the undocumented workers put themselves in dangerous situations to protect Americans, and therefore should be granted permanent residency.
“These workers provided critical services in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and suffered from exposure to airborne toxins and other hazards,” Crowley’s office said, according to The Hill. “Yet many of them still lack legal immigration options and have lived in fear of deportation from the country they served.”
According to the publication, the legislation would affect somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 undocumented immigrants.
Cracking down on illegal immigration has been a top priority for the Trump administration, but the president said on numerous occasions that his focus remains on targeting violent criminals. If the bill manages to garner enough support in both chambers, it will be the second bill aimed at helping illegal immigrants who partook in cleanup efforts.
Congress renewed The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2015, a 2010 bill that provided both legal and undocumented rescue and clean-up workers with compensation and health benefits.
According to the House Democratic Conference, Crowley is expected to hold a press conference Sunday to unveil his legislation.
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