USA and the UK
The White House have announced a comprehensive immigration reform proposal in a bill that has been sent to congress. The bill could create routes to citizenship for undocumented migrants as well as a number of other sweeping reforms.
President Biden’s immigration bill has been much anticipated since he promised significant reforms and reversals of the Trump administration’s draconian immigration policies. Construction of the US-Mexico border wall has already been halted by Biden, with the new immigration bill promising even more positive change.
Just a few of the proposals laid out in the new immigration bill include:
- A route to citizenship for undocumented migrants – individuals will be able to apply for temporary legal status, after 5 years they can then apply for a green card and after a further 3 years can apply for US citizenship providing they meet the requirements.
- Clearing backlogs in the system – this will reduce waiting times and per-country visa caps will also be increased.
- Promote immigrant and refugee integration – more funding will be supplied to expand programs promoting integration and inclusion.
- Embrace diversity – discrimination based on religion will be prohibited and the bill also limits presidential authority to issue future bans. The number of diversity visas will increase to 80,000 from 55,000.
In a statement about the bill, the White House said:
“The bill provides hardworking people who enrich our communities every day and who have lived here for years, in some cases for decades, an opportunity to earn citizenship. The legislation modernizes our immigration system, and prioritizes keeping families together, growing our economy, responsibly managing the border with smart investments, addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, and ensuring that the United States remains a refuge for those fleeing persecution.”
The bill is yet to receive any public support from Republicans, meaning it could face legislative challanged. Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives but the Senate is split 50-50, to avoid a filibuster (which can delay or prevent legislation from coming to a vote) the Democrats will need to win over at least 10 Republicans.
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Biden promised significant changes to the Trump administration’s immigration policies throughout his presidential campaign [Image credit: Unsplash]