Joe Biden, who takes over the presidential office as the 46th President of the United States of America today, is planning to reveal an extensive immigration bill on the first day he assumes charge.
This bill hopes to give an 8-year path to attain US citizenship for around 11 million people living there with no legal status. This is a complete turnaround from the stern immigration policies imposed by the Trump-led US government.
One of the major promises put forth by Joe Biden during his campaign was to bring about policies favorable to the immigrant communities.
The 4-year rule of President Trump witnessed the mass deportation of refugees and dependents and the introduction of several immigrant policies that were harsh and restrictive.
Read: President Biden’s New Immigration Bill 2021 Gives Indians A Reason To Cheer
Read: Can You Pass This US Citizenship Test?
8 Year Path To Citizenship In The US – Highlights
While being a Presidential candidate, Joe Biden referred to Donald Trump’s policies and measures on immigration and migrants as a relentless assault on the values of America.
Biden assured that if elected his government would work towards reversing the damage while not compromising on the border enforcement measures.
- The bill, which is likely to be in several hundreds of pages, is expected to be introduced following the swearing-in of Joe Biden on the 20th of January 2021
- Provides one of the quickest ways to attain US citizenship
- To those people who do not have a legal status of any means in the US
- However, the bill fails to mention anything regarding improved security at the borders
- Enhanced border security has always been a part of the Republican agendas
Read: US Immigrant Visas And Work Visa Restrictions Extended Till 31st March 2021
8 Year Path To Citizenship – Who Is Eligible
According to this bill, the people living in the US as of the 1st of January 2021 who do not have legal status in any measure will be offered a 5-year pathway to get a temporary legal status. They could also get a green card on satisfying the following criteria.
- Paying taxes without fail
- Clearing all background checks successfully
- Fulfilling all the other basic requirements
On completing the five-year period they can choose to go forward with an additional 3 year period. This is the time required for naturalization. However, this requirement is only necessary if the individual is looking for citizenship in the US.
The entire process could be quite quicker and easier for certain immigrants.
- This applies to the ‘Dreamers’- young people who arrived in the US illegally while they were children
- Individuals working in the agricultural sector
- Individuals who have temporary protective status
These categories of people could qualify for green card quickly in the following situations:
- If they are working
- If they are in School
- If they meet certain other prescribed requirements
This proposed bill is not all-inclusive compared to the last major immigration bill put forth by the Obama led US government. Mr. Biden was Vice President in the Obama administration.
Read: America Competes Act Removes Cap On Green Card For STEM Doctorates
8 Year Path To Citizenship – Drawbacks
Some of the drawbacks that can be seen in this bill include the following.
- Lack of enhanced and powerful measures for border security
- The bill only talks of coming up with strategies to maintain security
- Haven’t included any programs for guest workers
- Haven’t created any new/other visa programs as well
Some of the advantages linked to this proposed bill include the following.
- Addresses some of the major reasons for people migrating to the US from Central America
- Provision to allow grants to develop those workforces
- Grants for learning the English language
- Quick implementation of actions to reverse Trump’s anti-immigrant measures
- To put an end to the prohibition on arrival in the US
- This prohibition was predominantly targeted people arriving from Muslim nations
A Final Word
Joe Biden, at the time of the Democratic primary, constantly stated immigrant-friendly measures as one of his priorities on assuming power. He pointed out how he could use the executive powers to overturn the anti-immigrant policies put forth by Trump and his administration.
Even though Biden expects a certain amount of approval on his immigration policies even from the Republicans they are sure to oppose certain other priorities put forth by Biden like measures to increase federal spending and abolishing some of the tax cuts put forth by the Republicans in 2017.
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