A source close to the incoming Joe Biden administration told the Associated Press that Biden plans to propose immigration legislation on his first day in office that would give 11 million illegal immigrants an 8-year path to citizenship.
The bill is reportedly hundreds of pages long and has two phases: five years for those living in the U.S. without legal status to get a green card after fulfilling a number of requirements, and another three years for naturalization.
The requirements Biden proposes are background checks, paying taxes, and other unspecified tasks.
DACA recipients and agricultural workers here on temporary work visas could have an even faster path to citizenship if they are going to school or working.
Helping immigrants prosper
The AP said that the bill addresses “some of the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States,” but did not give specifics on how it does so.
There are also workforce training grants so that immgrants can get better jobs and support themselves and their families.
The bill does choose to ignore, as most Democrat immigration policies do, the fact that all illegal immigrants broke the law to enter the U.S.
The bill does address the problem of people who have been in the United States for years and built a life here, but would be deported to a potentially dangerous country that could be foreign to them after such a long time under our current immigration laws.
Will be difficult to pass bill
Allowing people who have already broken U.S. laws to become legal citizens poses serious problems for most Republicans, who still have the filibuster in the Senate as a way to block legislation from getting a vote.
No border security or guest worker program is included in the bill, which could lead to a large number of new people coming into the country illegally or being dependent on safety net programs.
In recent days, a migrant caravan crossed the border from Honduras into Guatemala with the stated intention of entering the U.S. illegally.
The more than 6,000 people reportedly in the caravan are responding to the change in U.S. leadership and what they think it means for border policy–namely, that they will now have an easier time getting across the border into the U.S. in spite of existing laws to the contrary.