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Michigan House Leaders Pohutsky, Aiyash Celebrate President Biden Providing Legal Status to Immigrant Spouses of U.S. Citizens 

By June 18, 2024No Comments


Leader Aiyash: “We’re incredibly grateful that President Biden is taking this step right now.”

Leader Pohutsky: Biden’s action is “consistent with our values as a country and as a state.”

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Michigan House Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) House Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) and State Representative Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton Township) joined impacted families with American Families United and the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) to celebrate President Biden’s executive action to provide relief and legal status for long-term immigrants married to U.S. citizens. They also participated in a roundtable discussion highlighting immigrants’ impact on Michigan’s economy.

President Biden’s executive action offers work permits and legal status to long-term immigrants, including those married to U.S. citizens who have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years. Additionally, the administration prepared a plan to streamline the process for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants to obtain temporary visas. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protects around 530,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. 

Each year, undocumented immigrants earn $290 billion in household income and contribute over $21.5 and $13.6 billion in state and local taxes with a combined spending power of $254.8 billion. Moreover, 10.6 million U.S. citizens live in mixed-status households, with hundreds of thousands of impacted U.S. citizens in states like Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Long-term undocumented immigrants have lived on average for 15 years in our country working, paying taxes and raising American children.

At the event, lawmakers and community advocates showcased how this policy will help keep families together, shield immigrants from exploitation, boost the economy and grow the workforce:

House Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck):

“As Dr. King reminds us, it’s always the right time to do the right thing and we’re incredibly grateful that President Biden is taking this step right now. Also, ignoring what the pundits will tell you and nervous politicians will tell you that immigration and fixing immigration is going to be a problem. The reality is immigration and fixing immigration is the American thing to do. It is the right thing to do.”

Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia):

“What the Biden administration did this morning is consistent with our values as a country and as a state. It upholds the dignity and justice of our families. We can have greater security on the border and we can have compassion for those who have been in our communities for many years and have families. This isn’t a contradiction. Out of the more than one million families impacted by this issue across the country, there are about 50,000 here in Michigan. That’s potentially hundreds of thousands of husbands, wives and children that can breathe a sigh of relief and know that their family belongs here.” 

State Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton):

“We’re all benefiting from Dreamers turning their dreams into reality. […] I’m glad to hear about this executive order. As my colleague said, we will be doing right by our families and, more importantly, it will also strengthen our economy and our small businesses.”

Cindy Garcia of Lincoln Park, a mixed-status family member:

“The policy will prevent more families from this traumatic experience. Thank you to the new precedent that he has put in place.”

Adonis Flores, Michigan United:

“Today, finally after decades of advocacy, President Biden has taken action to protect our family members, our loved ones and that’s cause for celebration. It’s a step in the right direction.” 

James O’Neal, American Business Immigration Coalition:

“This action by President Biden is a model for the kind of common sense solutions that we hope to continue seeing, both administratively and legislatively, from both parties and all of our elected officials. This program is good for families, good for communities and it also has the advantage of being good economically by helping to solve a labor shortage that is harming the economy and preventing growth.”

Rev. Jack Eggleston, Unity Lutheran Church in Southgate:

“This is a big deal for a lot of people. […] Thank you God for the day and for this huge step—and to say thank you [President] Joe Biden for doing the right thing.” 

Mary Carmen Limnos, leader at Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED) in southwest Detroit:

Today, [President Biden’s announcement] gives so many people hope and dignity that they deserve to hold their heads up high and become true citizens of this country. They’ve worked so hard and so long. For this recognition — gracias President Biden — for this bold and courageous move.”

Expanding work permits for long-term contributors is overwhelmingly popular among Americans generally. Prior to President Biden’s announcement today, nineteen 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.



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.