HomeAround TRP NewsletterIllinois Advocates and Elected Officials Celebrate New Executive Order on Work Permits as Welcome, Partial, Victory. Pledge Continued Organizing and Advocacy. 

Illinois Advocates and Elected Officials Celebrate New Executive Order on Work Permits as Welcome, Partial, Victory. Pledge Continued Organizing and Advocacy. 

Impacted immigrants, elected officials, advocates, and other community leaders respond to President Biden’s Latest Executive Order 

June 18, 2024

CHICAGO – Today, community leaders and impacted immigrants celebrated President Biden’s recent executive order, which will extend new rights and protections to hundreds of thousands undocumented workers and DREAMers across the country.

The proclamation, as announced, would help immigrants in three key ways: 

  • Help certain noncitizen spouses and children apply for lawful permanent residence, a status they are already eligible for, without leaving the country. This action will protect approximately half a million spouses of U.S. citizens, and approximately 50,000 noncitizen children under the age of 21 whose parent is married to a U.S. citizen. 
  • Allow individuals, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other Dreamers, who have earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education in the United States, and who have received an offer of employment from a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree, to more quickly receive work visas. 
  • Expand the issuance of employment visas to college graduates with a high skilled job offer.

Today’s announcement comes just weeks after the Illinois General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the President to use his executive authority to extend work permits to long-term undocumented immigrants in Illinois, citing the significant economic benefit of such a move amid prolonged workforce shortages that are stymying economic growth. 

While immigrant and worker advocates remain focused on the ultimate goal of comprehensive immigration reform with a meaningful pathway to citizenship, today’s announcement is a significant step forward that will help and protect hundreds of thousands of families across the country. It is a welcome move, particularly in light of the disappointing border policy announced two weeks ago. 

With the promise of action in hand, advocates are hopeful that the administration continues to engage the advocate community in dialogue to ensure that the new proposed rules are as clear and helpful as possible.

“As a champion of immigrant rights, I am proud of the landmark legislation we have passed in Illinois to make our state one of the most welcoming states in the nation for immigrant and refugee communities,” said State Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero), IL House sponsor of the Work Permits for All resolution. “I am proud that we continued that legacy this year by passing the Work Permits for All resolution, sending a clear message to Washington, D.C. that our businesses need workers and our people need work. All that’s missing is the work permits. I am proud of our fearless Congressional delegation for carrying that message to the President’s desk and helping us secure the relief our communities and our industries need.”

“I want to commend President Biden for his executive action to protect qualifying mixed-status families and Dreamers. This measure is life-changing for those who have lived in the shadows, in constant fear while working to ensure our country prospers. It is a first step with an impact that is impossible to measure,”said Illinois State Sen. Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), IL Senate Sponsor of the Work Permits for All resolution. “Recognizing how important it is to find humane and common sense solutions in our state, I was honored to work with a broad and diverse coalition of lawmakers, advocates and business leaders to pass the Work Permits for All resolution. Providing a path to legal status for workers who are undocumented has a far reaching impact for the individual, their family and community. This executive order is an important first step but we must continue the fight for those left out by this executive order.”

“One child out of every 10 in Illinois has an undocumented parent. These moms and dads have built lives in our country and have contributed to the economy but live in constant fear of deportation. Providing relief and peace of mind to mixed-status families, and to the 45,000 DACA recipients in my state is a step in the right direction to make our immigration system more fair and just for families and communities across the country,” said U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García.

“Since coming to office in 2023, I have consistently called for executive and congressional action to protect Dreamers and to provide relief to long-term undocumented immigrants across the nation. As the only member of Congress in a mixed-status family, the work to keep families and communities together is deeply personal. I am grateful for the President’s commitment to protect families like mine,”said U.S. Rep. Delia C. Ramirez (D-Chicago). “While we hoped for more expansive action, today’s announcement is significant. We must build on it to provide urgent relief to the millions of undocumented Americans who continue to express their commitment to our country through their contributions to our communities. We must continue fighting for congressional action that finally delivers the comprehensive, humane immigration reform our communities need to thrive.”

“We are proud and happy that President Biden is using his authority to grant work permits and protection to mixed-status families and open up visas for DREAMers,” said Eréndira Rendón, vice president of Immigrant Justice at The Resurrection Project. «The Resurrection Project and our partners are ready to continue to advocate for more executive actions to expand work permits for the long-term undocumented. This is only the beginning. We urge community members who believe they may be eligible to seek ethical, legal advice and follow The Resurrection Project for updates.” 

“Today’s action is proof that we have tremendous power,” said Sylvia Puente, President and CEO of the Latino Policy Forum. “When our communities come together — immigrants, families, advocates, business leaders, faith leaders, electeds; all of us — we can effect change. I hope that this inspires everyone to continue to use our collective voice and keep pushing until we finally have comprehensive immigration reform. This includes going to the polls in November to vote. Our communities deserve this and more, and we cannot stop until everyone has the security and stability of lawful immigration status.”

“President Biden’s action to extend work permits for long-term immigrant spouses is morally right, economically sound and politically smart,” said Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, representing 1400+ CEOs and employers across the country. “We thank him for taking this important step to support American families, protecting their love and ability to live together. The overwhelming majority of Americans support these humane and common-sense steps, and it will directly improve the lives of more than 10 million American citizens who have an undocumented family member. Today, those families, and the advocates fighting on their behalf, can breathe a huge sigh of relief.”


Many undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens are currently entitled to lawful permanent resident status but must apply for status outside of the U.S. if they initially entered without permission. However, upon leaving the country, they are barred from reentering for either three or 10 years, meaning they would be forced to wait outside of the U.S., often separated from their families. Today’s announcement would allow for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens to “parole in place” or stay in the U.S., thereby not triggering the three and 10-year bars separating families and removing a significant barrier to finally becoming legal residents and, eventually, U.S. citizens. 

The executive action is also expected to allow some DACA recipients to apply for work authorization visas and provide a pathway to an employment-based green card. The policy change would allow DACA recipients to have a more stable and permanent immigration status and eventually qualify for and become U.S. citizens.  

Only select groups of immigrants will be eligible for the relief announced today by the White House. It is critical that those who believe they may be eligible for relief consult with a reputable legal agency or private legal counsel before submitting any application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or any other federal agency. People must be on high alert because “notarios” and other bad actors will take advantage of the new developments to personally profit. Not seeking legal counsel from an established organization or reputable lawyer could be very dangerous and lead to problems as severe as imprisonment or deportation.


Immigration Legal Services


About The Resurrection Project
The Resurrection Project (TRP) builds trusting relationships to educate and propel individuals, immigrants and families to achieve their social and economic aspirations, stable homes and equitable participation in their community. TRP is a leading provider of affordable housing, financial education and immigration services on Chicago’s Southwest side.

During the past three decades, TRP has worked to improve the lives of individuals and families by creating wealth, building assets and engaging residents to be catalysts for change. Rooted in the Pilsen community, TRP’s impact now extends across the City of Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois; we are making steady progress towards leveraging and preserving more than $1 billion in community wealth by 2025. To learn more about our programs and services, visit us at resurrectionproject.org.

About the Latino Policy Forum

The Latino Policy Forum is the only organization in the Chicago area that facilitates the involvement of Latinos at all levels of public decision-making. The Forum conducts analysis to inform, influence and lead. Its goals are to improve education outcomes, advocate for affordable housing, promote just immigration policies and engage diverse sectors of the community, with an understanding that advancing Latinos advances a shared future. For more information, visit latinopolicyforum.org.

American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) is a bipartisan coalition of 1,400+ CEOs, business owners, and trade associations across the country. ABIC promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens.