Washington (AFP) – President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on the first day of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the United States without legal status, reversing the policies of Cruel immigration of the Trump administration.
The legislation puts Biden on the right track to fulfill a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest paths to citizenship for those who live without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off for the enhanced border security favored by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress into question.
The bill is expected to span hundreds of pages and is due to be introduced after Biden is sworn in on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the legislation and granted anonymity for discussion.
As a candidate, Biden described Trump’s actions on immigration as a “relentless attack” on American values, and said he would “undo the damage” while continuing to keep the boundaries in place.
Under the legislation, those who live in the United States effective January 1, 2021, without legal status will have a five-year pathway to temporary legal status, or green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and meet other basic requirements. From there, the naturalization path would be three years long, should they decide to seek citizenship.
For some immigrants, the process will be faster. The so-called Dreamers, young people who arrived in the United States illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under a temporary protection status, can immediately qualify for green cards if they are working, in school, or fulfilling other requirements.
The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration reform proposed when Biden was Vice President during the Obama administration.
For example, it doesn’t include a strong border security component, but it does call for strategies. It also does not create any new visitor agent or other visa programs.
It addresses some of the root causes of immigration from Central America to the United States, and provides grants for workforce development and English language learning.
Biden is expected to take swift enforcement action to reverse Trump’s other immigration measures, including ending the ban on arrivals from several Muslim-majority countries.
During the Democratic primary, Biden consistently called immigration measures one of his “first day” priorities, indicating the range of executive powers he could turn to to reverse Trump’s policies.
Biden’s allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue as the new administration could find common ground with Republican leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell and enough other Republican senators to avoid a deadlock that has plagued both party administrations for decades.
That kind of big win – even if it involves a compromise – could be critical as Biden searches for legislative victories in closely divided Congress, as Republicans are sure to oppose Biden’s other priorities that include rolling back some of the Republican tax cuts for a year. 2017 and increase federalism. Spending.
As a candidate, Biden went so far as to say that the Obama administration has gone too far with aggressive renditions.
Wilmington’s Barrow reported that San Diego-based writer Elliott Spagat contributed to this report.