Biden Urged To Pass New Path To Citizenship Without Republican Support

Biden unveils his expansive immigration agenda

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, together with Democratic lawmakers, on Thursday formally rolled out a major immigration bill called U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, introducing legislations that would expand immigration and give almost 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship in eight years. Without enhanced security, it faces tough odds in a closely divided Congress. They would receive a permanent residency card, commonly referred to as a "green card", after five years if they pass certain requirements including background checks, and could then apply for citizenship after three years. For others living in the U.S.as of January 1, 2021, the plan establishes a five-year path to temporary legal status, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements.

Why Biden's immigration plan may be risky for Democrats The plan would raise the current per-country caps for family and employment-based immigrant visas.

The last time comprehensive, bipartisan immigration legislation was brought up in U.S. Congress was in 2013, and comprehensive immigration reform hasn't passed in over 30 years in the country, according to a USA Today report.

Black lawmakers Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rep. Karen Bass from California, and leader of the Congressional Black Caucus Immigration Force, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, are among the dozen Democrats who've co-sponsored the bill.

Democrats are unveiling Biden-backed legislation Thursday morning to overhaul the immigration system, which includes setting up a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

"By focusing our limited resources on cases that present threats to national security, border security, and public safety, our agency will more ably and effectively execute its law enforcement mission", said ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson. "But this bill employs a multipronged approach that will manage the border, address the root causes of migration crack down on bad actors and create safe and legal channels for those who are seeking protection".

Both former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had attempted to put their stamp on immigration by unveiling proposals that included pathways to citizenship, but both plans were rejected by Congress.

"If Republicans want to come forward and work on immigration, I think the president is open to working with anyone who wants to get something done and get a bill to his desk", said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday to discuss the early negotiations.

Asked whether the White House would be open to considering potential Republican-led amendments to the bill that would increase any type of immigration enforcement, an administration official didn't rule it out. For more information, you can see the Boundless analysis about what's in Biden's immigration bill. "It is my hope that my colleagues will join in voting to pass this important piece of legislation - reforming our immigration system", said Bass said of the measure.

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