Joe Biden, the 46th President of the USA, has announced his plan to unveil an immigration bill that gives an 8-year path to becoming a US citizen. The new bill will be aimed at providing a pathway for the people living in the country without legal status, 11 million in number, to become lawful citizens of the USA.
The major announcement on the first day of his taking charge as President is a drastic U-turn from the immigration policies the Trump administration implemented. The legislation will help Latinos and other immigrants finally get some hope as Joe Biden will work on the promise he made during his campaign. This could reverse the effects of the Trump administration’s mass deportations and restrictive policies.
This will be one of the fastest pathways to citizenship in the US immigration system for those living in the US without legal status. This is one of Joe Biden’s efforts to undo the damages that Trump did during his time in office while keeping the border enforcement intact.
The legislation says that those living in the USA as of Jan 1, 2021, without legal status will get a 5-year path to a temporary legal status if not a Green Card. They only need to pass through their background checks and fulfill basic requirements apart from paying their taxes.
Post that, they will get a 3-year path to naturalization if they opt to take US citizenship, thus completing their immigration to USA. For people who arrived in the US illegally as children and people under protective status temporarily, the process would be faster. It will be so for agricultural workers too. If they are at work besides being in school, they could qualify quicker for Green Cards.
Nevertheless, the new legislation misses some points that make it less comprehensive than the major overhaul Biden proposed during the Obama administration. The absence of the element of robust border security is an example. The new legislation neither takes a new guest worker or anyone on other visa programs.
Biden could also end the Trump-imposed prohibition on arrivals of people from predominantly Muslim countries.
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