President Biden’s Immigration Bill Offers Path to Citizenship

President Biden’s Immigration Bill Offers Path to Citizenship

Almost as soon as Joe Biden became the new U.S. president on Jan. 20, 2021, he signaled his intent to pass immigration reform that could put millions on a path toward U.S. citizenship.

Biden’s proposed immigration bill would allow Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers living in the U.S. without documentation to apply for temporary legal status. After five years, they could apply for a green card if they pass background checks (criminal and national security) and pay all of their taxes. Three years after getting a green card, residents who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics could apply to become citizens.

If the legislation passes as proposed, temporary legal status applicants must have been physically present within U.S. borders on or before Jan. 1, 2021. For family unity and humanitarian purposes, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is authorized to waive this presence requirement if someone was deported on or after Jan. 20, 2017, but was physically present in the U.S. for at least three years prior to their removal.

At the end of the day, nearly 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. without documentation could be placed on a path toward earning U.S. citizenship if Biden’s immigration bill passes. There are many more

For a group of people who have often been scapegoated and derided – especially within the past four years – the bill is also making a symbolic gesture. While U.S. immigration laws and documents use the term “alien” to refer to an immigrant, the word has grown out of fashion and has even morphed into a pejorative term. Should Biden’s bill pass, however, “alien” will be swapped for “noncitizen” to refer to those who have not yet attained U.S. citizenship.

We at Garcia, Miranda, Gonzalez-Rua, P.A. are paying very close attention to how immigration laws and policies may soon change in the U.S. Should Congress affirm a path toward citizenship for noncitizens living in the country, we can help you take advantage of opportunities that may be available to you whether you’re a Dreamer, TPS holder, or an immigrant farmworker.

For more information about our firm or immigration legal services, please call (888) 340-8424 or contact us online.

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