Visa Crunch

Joe Biden to prioritize legal status for 11 million immigrants

Joe Biden is set to ask Congress to provide around 11 million immigrants with legal status on his inaugural day. Even though the issue never settled between the Republicans and Democrats, millions of immigrants currently living in the US illegally can attain citizenship according to the decision of President-elect Biden.

Despite Barack Obama promising an immigration bill during the first year of being President, it was not dealt with until his second term in office. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic still looming around strongly and the existing economic issues, Biden will announce legislation to a path to citizenship to an estimated 11 million immigrants as promised during his election campaigns.

With Donald Trump’s administration focusing on stopping illegal immigration, Biden has proved to be on the side of the immigrants living illegally in the country as his incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, said that Biden is set to send an immigration bill to Congress on his inaugural day. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to about 3 million people and since then, the overhauling of immigration policies has never become successful.

The executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, Marielena Hincapie said that “This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship.”

The former president of the League of Latin American Citizens, Domingo Garcia said that Trump’s impeachment trial may delay the passage of the bill according to the call Biden made to the advocates. She also added that “I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to take quick action because we got the same promises from Obama, who got elected in ’08, and he totally failed.” According to Kamala Harris, Vice President-elect, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status recipients will receive green cards, whereas others would attain citizenship after an eight-year path. As Trump’s policies separated over 5,000 children from their parents at the borders, “what was seared in their mind was family separation. They took it out on the Republican Party in 2018 and they took it out on Trump in 2020”, said Ali Noorani, president of the National Immigration Forum.

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