What's in Joe Biden's sweeping immigration bill being rolled out in Congress?

Andrew Cummings
February 18, 2021

Politico reported that Democrats in states where immigration is a key issue fear that President Joe Biden is walking into a political buzzsaw by moving too quickly to change former President Donald Trump's immigration policies. Marco Rubio of Florida, has labeled the Biden plan a "blanket amnesty".

Top Democrats said the legislation, blocked for more than a decade by Republicans, is "long overdue", noting that most of those it will address have lived in the country for many years, with homes, businesses and US-born children and grandchildren.

Democrats are also pushing ahead with several smaller-scale immigration bills, including a measure that would offer a path to citizenship to so-called "Dreamer" immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

Diversity visas, provided to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, would be increased from 50,000 per year to 85,000, according to an administration official.

But E-Verify, which checks a person's legal status to work in this country, "will not be mandatory" for USA employers, and Biden has said he would not expand the border wall. They would get a five-year provisional status, then could get a green card and get citizenship three years later.

- Numerous people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection, known as "Dreamers", who were brought to the United States illegally as children and people with Temporary Protected Status would immediately be eligible to apply for a green card and would have a three-year path to citizenship.

The path to citizenship only applies to people who have been in the country since January 1, 2021.

During the CNN town hall Tuesday night, Biden said that while a pathway to citizenship would be essential in any immigration bill, 'there´s things I would deal by itself'. Where his predecessor often cast immigrants as criminals, Biden's White House calls them "neighbors, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones". Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the son of Cuban immigrants raised in a tenement in Union City, N.J.

A dozen Democratic lawmakers, including lead sponsors California Rep. Linda Sanchez and New Jersey Sen. Migrants who could prove they've been employed as farm workers would also be eligible for that path.

Instead, they will be called the less pejorative "non-citizens". "There is a moment where every disposable tool in his toolbox will need to be pulled out whether or not Republicans come along".

Additionally, the bill would strike the phrase "illegal alien" from immigration laws and replace it with "noncitizen", a tangible repudiation of the offensive term that advocates have asserted is weaponized to further marginalize undocumented individuals.

"It's just too early to speculate about it right now", the aide said.

Other reports by iNewsToday