US House Democrats follow Senate with Citizenship Bill for 'Dreamers,' others

Biden unveils his expansive immigration agenda

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, together with Democratic lawmakers, on Thursday formally rolled out a major immigration bill called U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, introducing legislations that would expand immigration and give almost 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship in eight years.

In 2018, roughly 11.2 million immigrants living in the USA were from there, accounting for 25% of all US immigrants.

- Eliminating the word "alien" in USA law and replace it with "non-citizen".

White House officials called the bill a chance to "reset and restart conversations on immigration reform", labeling the bill as Biden's "vision of what it takes to fix the system". Applicants will have five years of temporary legal status, then they'll be allowed to apply for green cards.

The legislation will benefit the so-called Dreamers, people who were brought to the US illegally as children and grew up there.

The bill will make efforts to ease immigration timelines overseas, increasing numerous types of visa caps while seeking to reduce wait times for those who may now wait as long as 20 years to join family in the country.

The last time comprehensive, bipartisan immigration legislation was brought up in U.S. Congress was in 2013, and comprehensive immigration reform hasn't passed in over 30 years in the country, according to a USA Today report.

Biden's bill includes some enforcement provisions such as increased border technology to interdict drug traffickers and smugglers, higher penalties for employers who exploit undocumented laborers in the United States, and increased funding for immigration courts. And it would try to reduce the burden at the border by setting up refugee processing in Central America, to try to prevent some of the immigrant caravans that have overwhelmed border security in recent years.

The plan includes $4 billion spread over four years to try to boost economic development and tackle corruption in Latin American countries, to lessen pressure for migration to the U.S.

While both parties have talked of comprehensive immigration reform in years past, efforts have failed.

"If Republicans want to come forward and work on immigration, I think the president is open to working with anyone who wants to get something done and get a bill to his desk", said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday to discuss the early negotiations.

Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Democratic Rep. Linda Sánchez of California, will not only give people who illegally crossed the border into the USA before January 1, 2021, the opportunity for a five-year temporary status and then three-year citizenship waiting period.

That could leave the door open to standalone bills focused on providing a pathway to citizenship for various populations. That┬┤s why he proposed them together'.



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