Biden's plan to create path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants expected this week

The Democrat-controlled Congress has been working with President Biden to create a new immigration policy to allow for easier citizenship and green cards for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Published: February 17, 2021 1:03pm

Updated: February 17, 2021 4:02pm

Washington Democrats are expected this week to release a plan to create a path to citizenship for roughly 11 million immigrants now living illegally in the U.S.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans have tried unsuccessfully for years to reach a comprise on the matter. President Obama advanced the effort through executive action, but such efforts were effectively rolled back by the Trump administration.

The effort by Democrats is by the Biden Administration and Democratic members of Congress.

The new legislation is expected to focus on immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, those who are living under some sort of humanitarian relief and those who are working in agriculture. 

The facts and details of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 were released to the public Jan. 20, the day Biden took office, and sent to Congress for action.

This week, congressional Democrats are expected to unveil their new legislative proposal and what they incorporated from Biden's bill. 

Though Democrats control the House and Senate, their narrow majority in each chamber will again make passage difficult.

The bill developed by Biden's team provides pathways to citizenship if certain criteria are met, including: being a farmworker; already protected under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; or having temporary protected status.

The draft measure calls for illegal immigrants eventually being allowed to apply for a green card, if they pay taxes and pass a background check.

The plan also includes targeting the root cause of migration by increasing assistance to such impoverished Latin American countries as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with $4 billion in taxpayer funds. 

"President Biden is sending a bill to Congress on day one to restore humanity and American values to our immigration system," the Jan. 20 White House statement says. "The legislation modernizes our immigration system, and prioritizes keeping families together ... addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, and ensuring that the United States remains a refuge for those fleeing persecution."

Despite Democrats' slim control of the House and split control of the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker, they still can still pass most legislation with full partisan support. House Democrats have reportedly divided the bill into three separate measures in hopes of at least getting something passed in the Senate. 

Biden confirmed Tuesday night during a CNN town hall event that he is in favor of a pathway to citizenship for the the roughly 11 million illegals now living inside the United States.

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