Biden’s Immigration Reforms Creating More Pathways to Citizenship
On President Biden’s first day in office he signed a number of impactful executive orders. One of these orders protects the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Policy, which was phased out under the Trump administration. This new executive order comes as a huge sigh of relief for the 2.1 million DACA recipients living and working in the U.S., who can now remain safely in the country and apply for a green card and eventually, citizenship.
What about Non-DACA Immigrants?
Biden has proposed a bill, called the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, that would create an eight-year path to legal citizenship for all undocumented individuals currently in this country.
This path to citizenship is not exactly new, it is the same as the path for the “U-Visa,” which currently has a waiting list of about 100,000 people. However, the significant backlog is in large part due to the tight quota kept on issuance of new visas and Temporary Protective Status (TPS) under the Trump administration. Biden has stated that he plans to triple the amount of these visas issued annually with the intention of getting all undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the country a legal path to citizenship. Biden has also stated an intention to expand the availability of Temporary Protective Status to individuals who have had to escape their home countries due to political issues or natural disasters.
This plan must still receive the approval of Congress, but changes are in motion, with the DACA executive order already having taken effect, and growing support in the House and Senate.