The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latin American and immigrant communities.
President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil sweep immigration bill on day one of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the United States without legal status, which would be a reversal of harsh immigration policies of the Trump administration.
Legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on major election promise important to Latin American voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive and mass politics evictions.
It provides one of the quickest paths to citizenship for those who have lived without legal status to any extent in recent years, but it does not include the traditional compromise of enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, questioning the passage of a tightly divided Congress. .
Having to run through hundreds of pages, the bill is expected to be introduced after Biden is sworn in on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the legislation who spoke anonymously with the Associated Press news agency.
As a candidate, Biden called Trump’s immigration actions a “relentless assault” on American values and said he would “repair the damage” while continuing to uphold border enforcement.
By law, people living in the United States on January 1, 2021, without legal status, would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to apply for citizenship.
For some immigrants, the process would be faster. So-called Dreamers, young people who arrived in the United States undocumented as children, as well as farm workers and people on temporary protection status, could qualify for green cards more immediately if they work , are in school or meet other requirements.
The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration overhaul proposed when Biden was vice president under the Obama administration.
For example, it does not include a strong element of border security, but rather calls for the development of strategies. It also does not create a new guest worker or other visa programs.
It tackles some of the root causes of migration central America in the United States and provides grants for Workforce Development and English Language Learning.
Biden should take swift executive action to reverse Trump’s other immigration measures, including ending the prohibition on arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries.
During the Democratic primary, Biden consistently identified immigration action as one of his first-day priorities, highlighting the range of executive powers he could invoke to reverse Trump’s policies.
Biden’s allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue on which the new administration could find common ground with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and enough other Republican senators to avoid the deadlock that The administrations of both sides have been vexing for decades.
This kind of major victory – even if it involves compromise – could be critical as Biden seeks legislative victories in a tightly divided Congress, where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities that involve rolling back. some of the Republicans’ tax cuts in 2017 and increased federal spending.
As a candidate, Biden said the Obama administration had gone too far in its aggressive expulsions.