Washington, February 18: Democrats will introduce US Citizenship Act 2021, President Joe Biden's Immigration Reform Bill, in the Capitol. The bill will reflect immigration priorities of the Biden administration. The bill aims to give citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. The legislation will benefit people who illegally brought to the country as children.
The US Citizenship Act 2021 allows undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status, with the ability to apply for green cards after five years if they pass criminal and national security background checks and pay their taxes. The bill further recognises America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word "alien" to "noncitizen" in the immigration laws. President Biden Very Clear About Restoring Compassion, Order to Immigration System: White House.
The bill will counter the Donald Trump administration's hardline approach toward immigrants. The Trump administration tried to end an executive order of 2012 issued by the then US President Barack Obama, as part of his crackdown on immigrants. Obama issued the order offering protection for immigrants at renewable two-year periods. Joe Biden Sworn in as 46th President of the United States; Here's All You Need to Know About the Oldest US President in American History.
The bill makes it easier for graduates of US universities with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the United States, improves access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors, and eliminates other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green cards. It provides dependents of H-1B visa holders work authorisation, and children are prevented from "ageing out" of the system.
The comprehensive immigration bill was sent to Congress by Biden on day 1 of his presidency. In January this year, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had told reporters, "The US Citizenship Act modernises our immigration system. It provides hard-working people who have enriched our communities and lived here for decades an opportunity to earn citizenship."
(With inputs from PTI)
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 18, 2021 07:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).