President Biden has been taking positive steps to make the largest overhaul in the U.S. immigration system. The proposed Immigration bill, if passed, would be the largest legislative remake of The U.S. immigration System in a very long time, that would provide a numerous benefit to foreign nationals seeking lawful permanent residency.
A similar bill was proposed eight years back which was passed in the Senate but not by the Republic-controlled House.
Key Points of the bill (Known as the US Citizenship Act of 2021):
- The bill would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status and eventually a citizenship. To qualify, they would have to have been present in the US on or before January 1, 2021, unless granted a waiver on humanitarian grounds. Initially, they would be able to obtain a work permit and travel abroad with the assurance that they would be permitted to reenter. After five years, they would be able to apply for a green card if they pass background checks and pay taxes.
- Immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and Temporary Protected Status, as well as farmworkers would, be able to apply for green cards immediately. After holding their green card for three years and passing additional background tests, they could apply for US citizenship.
- The bill notably includes provisions to remove barriers to family-based immigration, including lengthy visa backlogs and employment-based green cards, which have been relatively inaccessible for workers in lower-wage industries.
- It would also set up new processing centers throughout the region in order to register qualifying migrants as refugees and resettle them in the US.
- It would reunify separated families by reinstituting the Central American Minors program, under which children can join their relatives in the US and creating a new parole program for those whose family members in the US sponsored them for a visa.
US Citizenship Act of 2021 will:
- Provide a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants who have a destabilized status in the United States, including DACA recipients, essential workers, and TPS holders
- Provide relief to employment and family immigrant visa backlogs
- Address the causes of illegal migration