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Advocates, Employers Celebrate President Biden’s Recent Immigration Action Granting Work Permits, Keeping Families Together Ahead of Tonight’s Debate

By June 27, 2024No Comments


Before the debate, impacted families and business leaders from across the country contrast Biden’s historic common-sense action granting work permits to spouses and dreamers with Trump’s promise of mass deportations

Families, business leaders and experts highlight how common-sense policies are good for American families and grow the economy

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), American Families United (AFU) and held a press call ahead of the presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. Speakers on the call celebrated the Biden-Harris administration’s historic decision to grant work permits to the undocumented spouses of American citizens and improve Dreamers’ ability to secure a more stable legal status, in sharp contrast with Trump’s plans for massive deportations, which participants warned would be “catastrophic” for our economy.

Business leaders and families who will benefit from President Biden’s executive action discussed how an estimated 500,000 undocumented spouses of American citizens will have the opportunity to acquire a work permit and apply for the opportunity to adjust their status in the United States, rather than leave the country and be separated from their family for years. Granting work permits to spouses of U.S. citizens and Dreamers will strengthen the economy and help American businesses expand, creating more jobs—with immigrants estimated to boost the GDP by over $7 trillion in the next decade alone.

Those on the call also urged President Biden to implement his executive actions swiftly and broadly to help keep families together, help communities and businesses grow, and bring skilled labor to a workforce in need of workers.

Here’s what they had to say ahead of today’s debate:

Rebecca Shi, Executive Director, ABIC Action:

“Thank you, President Biden, for keeping families together and boosting the economy. Spouses of US citizens and our dreamers already contribute to the economy. With a legal work permit, they will add $6.6 billion in new taxes each year. These actions are common sense and far more popular than Trump’s mass deportations and family separations policies. Responsible leaders pursue bipartisan solutions and do not demonize entire groups of workers and humans.”

Ashley DeAzevedo, President, American Families United:

“Since the president’s announcement last week that he will be granting work permits to hundreds of thousands of spouses of U.S. citizens, like my husband, my feet have not hit the ground. […] This was a big, big step forward that the president took, and we are proud. We’re grateful for this action from President Biden, and we’re urging him and his team to implement this swiftly and implement it as generously as possible, to include as many families as we can.”

DeAzevedo added: “My mom is a Republican and was with me at the White House listening to President Biden make these remarks. When Stephen Miller and Donald Trump came out saying negative things about this policy afterwards, I can tell you that she will not be voting for him after hearing that and wanting to make sure that my husband here is safe.”

Todd Schulte, President,

“This was such a tremendous step forward to keep families together, and I think it stands in contrast to threats and promises of people to rip families apart when people are at their most vulnerable and when they’re seeking refuge. […] We’re just going to make it a little bit easier for those families to be together—and that’s best for all Americans.”

Allyson Batista, U.S. citizen from PA, and Board Member, American Families United:

“Over 1.1 million U.S. citizens with undocumented spouses have been in my situation, tired, angry, feeling neglected, living in trauma, and fear of separation, year after year. Now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. […] Thanks to this action from President Biden, I and hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen spouses can hope for our future without fear. In tonight’s debate, we’re likely to hear proposals of bringing back mass deportations and family separation that are terrifying. It would result in [families] being destroyed and children losing parents. It is wrong. Thankfully, President Biden’s recent action puts us on a compassionate, fair, common sense path—and I hope we see much more of that from him and from both parties in Congress.”

Peter Guzman, President and CEO, Latin Chamber of Commerce (Nevada):

“This is not only compassionate, but it’s economic development. It’s about our economy, and this is crucial. It’s also morally right. […] We know that both parties have kicked this down the road—two times already, but we need comprehensive immigration reform. […] So my hope at the end of the day is that we get momentum on this, but that we also all work together to get comprehensive immigration reform.”

John Graham, President and CEO, Sunbelt Holdings (Arizona):

“I want to applaud President Biden for his actions he took last week to grant permits to spouses of U.S. citizens and Dreamers, for this is economically vital. We’ve got a massive workforce shortage, we’ve got people who want to work working in the shadows, far from fully contributing to our economy while putting their own lives on the line for Arizonans as health care workers, home health aides and personal care aides. […] This is also morally right. Thanks to the President’s decision, families across Arizona have reason to hope that they will be able to be with their loved ones with safety and security, and many of the more than 36,900 DACA-eligible young people in our state will have the opportunity to pursue their dreams for the benefit. […] Common-sense solutions, like the ones the President just chartered, are the direction we need to go, going in a different way towards mass deportations.”

John Oswald, President and CEO, Mills Manufacturing (North Carolina):

“We think that this change is a very, very positive step forward. All we can do is continue to encourage both Republicans and Democrats alike to continue to push for more positive change, on the immigration front so that it’s a benefit to our economy, a benefit to the people” 


Prior to President Biden’s announcement, 19 U.S. Senators; 80+ members of Congress; 300+ employers, CEOs and associations have also endorsed work permits for long-term immigrants, along with labor organizations like SEIU, UNITE HERE and the Culinary Union, the Teamsters and United Auto Workers (UAW). NYC Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson recently led a bipartisan letter of over 40 mayors urging the president to extend work permits, and over 140 Latino state and local elected officials from across the nation have urged the President to act.

More information is available in ABIC’s fact sheet on work permits here and Cornell University’s legal memo on Biden’s executive authority for this action here.



American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) is a bipartisan coalition of 1,400+ CEOs, business owners, and trade associations across 17 mostly red and purple states. 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.