Saturday, March 6

Biden fulfills promise of immigration reform that would give citizenship to undocumented, ‘dreamers’ and people with TPS


President Joe Biden he fulfilled the immigrants and Hispanic voters whom he promised in the campaign that he would promote comprehensive immigration reform, to establish a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ‘dreamers’ and people under the TPS program.

“The legislation I sent to Congress will bring much-needed changes to an immigration system that requires reform for a long time.”said President Biden. “It will responsibly manage the border with smart investments; address the root causes of irregular migration from Central America; it will modernize our legal immigration pathways and create a hard-earned path to citizenship for many, including ‘dreamers’, farm workers and TPS holders. ”

Now it is up to Congress to approve the “America’s Citizenship Act of 2021”, sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez (New Jersey) and the representative Linda Sanchez (California).

The draft 353 pages is made up of five large blocks on the path to citizenship for different types of immigrants; address the causes of immigration and new ways of serving the southern border; modifications to the visa system; adjustments to immigration courts and attention to the most vulnerable people, and the process of authorization of employment and protection of workers from being exploited.

“It is his vision of how the immigration system should be changed … and it opens the discussion on immigration after the last four years,” said one of the White House advisers in a telephone call to journalists. “Creates the path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants with temporary status of between three and five years until they can obtain citizenship”.

Dreamers, immigrants benefiting from TPS and undocumented agricultural workers who can prove their work history, will be able to obtain Permanent Residence immediately and three years later apply for citizenship.

In the case of the rest of the undocumented, a provisional “green card” will be granted for five years, then they will apply for a permanent one and then citizenship. No person who entered the country without authorization after January 1, 2021 you can apply for this benefit.

The proposal also seeks to modify the work visa process, such as the H-1B and H-2B; extend to 80,000 protections under the Diversity Program or visa lottery, as well as increase to 30,000 U visas, for crime victims.

Border, security and cuts

President Biden’s project will focus border security on the implementation of high technology, to prevent the trafficking of people and drugs, recognizing that the latter enter through certain ports.

The vision of the proposal on the border is more humanitarian, since it aims to address the roots of immigration, but without neglecting the public security aspects. In this way, the reform will open the way to establish programs that help reduce the immigration of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

It is intended to improve immigration courts, to hire more judges, specialized personnel, acquire more technology and implement legal orientation programs.

Although the system E-Verify will not be mandatory, the Biden Administration increases penalties for those who hire undocumented immigrants, in addition to seeking to establish a task force with unions and employers to verify work permits.

“These are not Democratic or Republican priorities, but American ones. I have laid out my vision of what it will take to reform our immigration system and I look forward to working with leaders in Congress to achieve it. “announced President Biden.

The president’s team of advisers did not respond to questions about how they will convince Republicans to achieve 60 votes in the Senate or if Democrats would adhere to the Reconciliation rule to approve the plan with a simple majority, considering the vote of the vice president. Kamala Harris.

Senators joined the proposal Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Alex padilla (California) and Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico), as well as representatives Zoe Lofgren (California), Lucille Roybal-Allard (California), Nydia Velázquez (New York), Judy Chu (California), Raul Ruiz (California), Yvette Clarke (New York) and Karen Bass (California), who held a joint press conference.

“I applaud President Biden for keeping his promise and sending Congress a bold vision on immigration reform,” said Representative Lofgren, chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Citizenship and Immigration Subcommittee.

A group of 12 congressmen presented the reform in the Chamber and the Senate. PHOTO: Conference capture

Representative Velázquez stressed that this progress left behind “the last four years” on immigration issues, based on “xenophobia and hatred”, which led “to cruel policies such as separating children from their parents.”

“We cannot afford to exclude the world’s talent or drive away those who call our country home, especially immigrants who now work as healthcare professionals and other front-line employees,” said Senator Klobuchar, who like Presidential candidate also raised his voice in favor of immigrants.

Senator Luján highlighted the new policy to defend DACA recipients, who were attacked by the previous administration, although he recognized the path that congressmen play.

Organizations celebrate

Representatives of groups that defend immigrants celebrated President Biden’s proposal and urged Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

Church World Service considered that the project marks “a historic step”, to allow people without documents, but who call this country “home” to be protected. “Congress must act now and pass this bill,” he said.

That voice was joined by the Center for American Progress, the United Farm Workers & UFW Foundation; the American Business Immigration Coalition (BIC), among others.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t do something this year.”, I consider Rebecca Shi, executive director of the BIC. “There are no excuses, only opportunities to do the right thing for families, businesses and our economy.”

What includes

The reform is very broad, but in general terms it includes:



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