Duarte co-sponsors bipartisan immigration reform bill

The Modesto Congressman is embracing a bipartisan bill aimed at providing legal status to working illegal immigrants while phasing-in E-Verify.

Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill that is intended to fix the immigration system in the U.S. 

This comes just weeks after Duarte voted against the Republican-backed Secure the Border Act. 


Driving the news: The Dignity Act of 2023 was introduced to the House of Representatives last month by Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R–Florida) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D–TX), and Duarte signed on as a cosponsor on Wednesday. 

  • Backers of the bill are promoting it as the first serious bipartisan immigration solution proposed in Congress in over a decade. 

The big picture: The Dignity Act has several components focused on increasing border security, providing a legal status and pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, asylum reform and visa reform. 

  • The bill would provide funding for border infrastructure and equipment, including enhanced barriers at the border and increasing the number of border patrol agents. Notably, the bill would not provide any funding for the construction of a border wall. 
  • Around 11 million undocumented people would receive the “Dignity” status, which would grant them legal status in the U.S. as well as work and travel authority. Dignity recipients would have the Redemption Program available to them, which would provide a path for them to be eligible for citizenship. 
  • Five facilities would be constructed in Latin America to offer services to potential asylum seekers or economic migrants. 
  • The bill would also cut the visa backlog to a maximum of 10 years, meaning that anyone who has been waiting for a legal visa for 10 years or more will be provided a visa. Other visa reforms include changes to the H-2B and H-2A agriculture programs. 

Go deeper: The Dignity Act also implements the E-Verify system to ensure that employees across the nation are citizens. 

  • Duarte opposed the Secure the Border Act because of the proposed E-Verify system on the basis that Central Valley farmworkers would be negatively impacted. 
  • The E-Verify system under the Dignity Act would be implemented as illegal immigrants receive Dignity legal status, meaning immigrant farmworkers would not be adversely affected. 

What they’re saying: “I said I would work with both Democrats and Republicans on a bipartisan immigration bill, and I meant it,” Duarte said. “The Dignity Act is a commonsense, bipartisan fix to the crisis at our border. This bill makes our country safer by providing $25 billion to fully secure our border, provides a dignified solution for undocumented immigrants living in America, strengthens our economy and brings working families out of the shadows.”

Related Posts