Biden Proposes Bill To Grant Undocumented Immigrants Green Cards And Path To Citizenship
On day one...
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to roll out a massive immigration reform plan on his first day in office.
The plan will not only provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, it will also expand refugee admissions and focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America.
Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris’ plan features an eight-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, giving them temporary protected status for 5 years then granting them a green card once they’ve completed a background check and other requirements, including payment of taxes - which shouldn’t pose a problem, as data shows the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are hardworking tax payers, not criminals.
Those without legal status will need to wait three years after getting their green card to apply for citizenship, but, under the Biden-Harris’ plan, DACA recipients and refugees from disaster-ravaged nations would be able to apply for green cards immediately, reports The Washington Post.
To avoid a rush of migrants before the full scope of legislative reform and policy can be implemented, the eight-year plan will only apply to immigrants who have been in the United States since January 1, 2021.
The Obama administration was harshly criticized for doing little to address immigration while they held House and Senate majorities. Seems Biden will not be making that mistake again. The President-elect is making immigration a chief legislative priority, second only to addressing the nation’s pandemic-related health and economic relief needs.
But, Biden-Harris’ immigration overhaul faces critics on both sides, from the usual suspects, Republican lawmakers and conservative groups, as well as immigration advocates who say the bill doesn’t go far enough to prevent deportations, detentions, and new arrests.
Biden will introduce the bill to Congress on Wednesday. Although narrow, Democrats do hold majorities in both House and Senate, meaning passage of the bill won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be possible.
“Having leadership makes a big difference,” Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, said in an interview on Monday.
“You cannot achieve immigration reform without presidential leadership, and from what I see, the seriousness of their purpose to start off with gives me a real good feeling that the president-elect is actually going to use capital to try to make this happen.”