On Thursday, the administration of President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress will unveil an immigration reform that could provide the nearly 11 million people who live in the United States without legal status an eight-year path to citizenship.
The initiative, which will be released in detail in the morning, will reflect the sweeping priorities Biden outlined on his first day in office for immigration reform, such as increasing visas, funding to process asylum applications and new technology at the border with Mexico.
Although the plan offers one of the quickest ways to obtain citizenship compared to other proposals in recent years, it does not offer to improve border security, an issue that past immigration negotiations have used as a means of winning the Republican vote.
Without improving border security, the project could run into difficulties in a deeply divided Congress. The bill would immediately provide immigrant permanent residency cards (“green cards”) to agricultural workers who received temporary protection status, and to youth who came to the United States without permission as children.
For other people who have lived in the United States until January 1, 2021, the plan outlines a five-year pathway for them to obtain temporary legal status, if they pass background checks, pay taxes, and meet other basic requirements. Then, after three more years, they could obtain citizenship.