Congressional lawmakers will introduce President Joe Biden’s immigration plan on Thursday, including a “path to citizenship” proposal for over 11 million people living illegally in the United States.
The plan is something Biden detailed during his campaign and introduced as part of his first 100 days in office, Biden administration officials said.
What’s being called as The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship for the non-citizens, “a shorter process to legal status for agriculture workers and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and an enforcement plan that includes deploying technology to patrol the border.”
Undocumented immigrants will start with five-year temporary status, and then they will be able to apply for a green card, which they must have for three years before being able to apply for citizenship. Only undocumented immigrants who are in the United States by Jan. 1, 2021, will be eligible for the legalization process.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), would allocate $4 billion over four years “to confront corruption, enhance security and foster prosperity” in migrant communities, an administration official said. It also creates a better system for processing migrants trying to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The prior administration was solely focused on the wall and did nothing to address the root causes of why people are coming to the southwest border, causing a humanitarian crisis,” a Biden administration official said.
This would be the largest immigration reform package to pass through Congress. Several lawmakers have noted that they will try to push through legislation that already passed in the House, along with the legislation for Biden’s proposal. Although, there are expected to be challenges to the bill from both Democrats and Republicans, citing a lack of oversight and direct funding of Biden’s proposal.
The last time comprehensive, bipartisan immigration legislation was brought up in Congress was in 2013, and comprehensive immigration reform hasn’t passed in over 30 years.