On Thursday, February 18, 2021, President Joe Biden unveiled a sweeping immigration reform bill, which includes a proposal for a pathway to citizenship for approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Under the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. by January 1, 2021, are eligible for an eight-year path to citizenship. Immigrants may apply for temporary legal status that includes work authorization and obtain a green card after five years – if they pass background checks and pay taxes – and then apply for citizenship after three years.
For individuals enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders as of January 1, 2017, and undocumented farmers, the pathway to citizenship is much shorter. These immigrants would be eligible for green cards immediately and apply for citizenship after three years.
The proposed bill also includes the other provisions, such as the following:
- Replacing the word “alien” with “non-citizen” in law
- Raising the per-country caps on employment- and family-based legal immigration visas
- Increasing funds for technology at the southern U.S. border
- Repealing the penalty that forbids the return – within three and 10 years – of undocumented immigrants who leave the country
However, passing one massive immigration package will be challenging. While the proposed legislation may pass the House, at least 10 Republicans must vote to defeat a Senate filibuster and move the bill to a vote.
Democrats are deciding whether to try to pass one large legislative package or take a piecemeal approach by passing several provisions of the bill individually. Republicans are looking for more border security and addressing other issues related to the nation’s immigration system.
If you are interested in obtaining a green card or U.S. citizenship in Dallas or Fort Worth, TX, contact Nathan Christensen P.C. today at (972) 497-1017. Se habla Español.