Democrats in Congress will introduce a bill backed by President Joe Biden, which proposes to profoundly reform immigration legislation, paving the way for some 11 million illegal aliens currently residing in the United States to obtain citizenship.
On his first day as president, Biden announced a major reform in immigration policies and specifically his intention to grant permanent citizenship to millions of immigrants currently residing in the United States illegally.
As reported by Fox News, Feb. 18 is the day the Biden administration begins to flesh out its announcement, introducing legislation in Congress that will pave the way for citizenship for some 11 million people.
Citizenship, yes border security, no
While the plan would offer one of the fastest pathways to citizenship of any measure proposed in recent decades, it does so without offering any enhanced border security to prevent floods of immigrants arriving at the U.S. border to claim citizenship.
According to reports, the bill will immediately provide green cards to agricultural workers, those with temporary protected status and young people who came to the United States illegally as children.
For those immigrants who entered after Jan. 1, 2021, the plan envisions a five-year path to temporary legal status after passing some basic requirements.
In addition, the plan would increase the current per-country limits for family-based and employment-based immigrant visas. It would eliminate the sanction that prohibits immigrants who live in the United States without authorization and then leave the country and unable to return for three to 10 years and would also provide resources, about $4 billion, for more judges, support staff, and technology aimed at addressing delays in processing asylum applications.
Contrary to measures adopted by the former Trump administration, the new bill provides almost no border security measures, including funding for technology to speed up detection and improve officials’ ability to identify smuggling.
President Biden support, yes, Republicans—maybe
The controversial bill, while it has the overt support of President Biden, is sure to receive strong arguments attempting to reject it from congressional Republicans, guaranteeing long days of discussions before a resolution is reached.
For the time being, the bill will be introduced in the House on Thursday afternoon, where it is expected to be easily approved by the Democratic majority. The same will probably not happen in the Senate, where it should get at least 10 Republican votes in order to be approved.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was one of the major opponents of the immigration policies announced by President Biden. “Before we deal with immigration, we need to deal with COVID, make sure everyone has the chance to find a good job, and confront the threat from China,” Rubio said in late January.
His comments were made against a real-life backdrop of a crisis in which the United States has more than 18 million unemployed, counting only legal citizens.
“America should always welcome immigrants who want to become Americans. But we need laws that decide who and how many people can come here, and those laws must be followed and enforced,” Rubio said.