(RepublicanDaily.org) – Joe Biden’s White House administration has not been shy about backing and implementing sweeping changes. Costly environmental initiatives, like the discontinuation of the Keystone XL pipeline project, have drawn a lot of criticism; however, Biden’s attitude to immigration that has also caused a big uproar.
Central to this is the immigration reform bill unveiled in Congress on Thursday, February 18. The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 was introduced by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and a group of other Democrats. Joe Biden has indicated he fully supports the bill.
Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants
Perhaps the most significant of the bill’s provisions is the creation of a pathway to citizenship for certain people who entered the country illegally. Any undocumented migrant who arrived in the United States before 2021 would be able to become an American citizen after eight years. They would get green cards after five years and citizenship after a further three, as long as they met certain criteria.
The bill would also give people who are currently living in the US legally under temporary programs, but have no current pathway to citizenship, a way to become Americans. For example, immigrants who are protected under the TPS and DACA programs would immediately get green cards, allowing them to become citizens after three years. Also, the word “alien” would be replaced by “noncitizen” in official texts.
Will the Bill Pass?
Now Democrats hold majorities in both chambers of Congress. However, their margins in both houses (especially the Senate) are thin, and Republicans have the option of a Senate filibuster even if Democrats do vote unanimously.
According to an article from Reuters, Menendez said he was aware the bill’s success would “demand negotiations.” While the future of this new movement by Democrats is still uncertain, there’s no doubt it would mark a huge change in the way immigration is handled in the U.S.
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