BIDEN'S PROPOSED U.S. CITIZENSHIP ACT, 2021
President Biden has been taking positive steps to make the most extensive overhaul in the US immigration system. The proposed Immigration Bill, if passed, would be the most comprehensive legislative remake of the US immigration system in a very long time that would provide numerous benefits to foreign nationals seeking lawful permanent residency.
Key Points - US Citizenship Act of 2021
Undocumented Individual's Pathway to Citizenship Bill:
The Bill proposes that any unlawful person present in the US before January 1, 2021, with pending criminal background and national security checks, may apply for Temporary Protected Status. (For those deported on or after January 20, 2017, the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the presence requirement).
Upon passing further checks and demonstrating US civics and English knowledge, they would eventually, in five years, be eligible to apply for a green card.
People who already have Temporary Protected Status or were beneficiaries of the DACA program or those brought to the United States as children would immediately be eligible for green cards, allowing them to naturalize in as little as three years potentially.
Employment-based visa backlogs:
The Bill suggests clearing the backlogs for employment-based visas and eliminating many hurdles for employment-based green cards. The Bill also proposes eliminating Per-country visa caps.
If signed into law, the Bill would reduce the administrative burden for employment-based visas, especially for those with advanced STEM degrees from US universities.
This Bill proposes to prevent children of the H-1B visa holders from aging out of the system. Currently, the children of H-1B parents waiting for a green card would have no legal status upon attaining the age of 21 years.
Finally, the Bill proposes that the DHS should be able to adjust the annual cap on employment-based visas based on macro-economic conditions.
If passed into law, the Bill would eliminate the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims and provide funding to reduce asylum application backlogs.
It also proposes to increase protections for U-visa, T-visa, and VAWA applicants.
The Bill further proposes to raise the cap on U-visa from 10,000 to 30,000 annually.
Address the causes of illegal migration:
Through the US Citizenship Act of 2021, President Biden has put forth a $4 Billion four-year plan. The plan aims to decrease violence, corruption, and poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the home countries of many migrants who have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum in recent years.
The Bill would also establish centers throughout Central America to pursue refugee resettlement in either the US or other countries.
Emphasis on Technology for Border Control:
The proposed Bill emphasizes supplementing the existing border sources with technology and infrastructure.
Immigration Court reforms:
The Bill expands family case management programs, reduces immigration court backlogs, expands training for immigration judges, and improves immigration courts' technology.
The Bill aims at restoring fairness and balance to the American Immigration System by providing judges and adjudicators with discretion to review cases and grant relief to deserving individuals.
The Bill proposes to fund legal orientation programs and counsel for children, vulnerable individuals, and others to ensure a fair and efficient resolution for their claims.
The Bill primarily focuses on family unification, which means sponsorship petitioners can wait for Green cards in the US temporarily.
The Bill intends to clear the backlogs, recapture the unused visas, and increase the Per-country visa caps.
The Bill also focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ families, including permanent partnerships.
If this Bill is ultimately made into law, there will be many advantages to many sectors of people and businesses in the US.
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