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Updates on Proposed Immigration Bills

 

There are a few changes we are seeing in immigration reforms due to the changes of administration. These changes are impacting policies for DACA and TPS recipients, asylum seekers and more.

 

On February 18, the Biden administration unveiled a new immigration bill. The bill called “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021” is set to include:

  • An 8 year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
  • Improve technology for border security
  • Replace the word “alien” to “non-citizen” in immigration law
  • Provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and farm workers
  • Halt border wall construction

If the bill does not pass in Congress, lawmakers are set to break down the bill into smaller legislation that could legalize farm workers and Dreamers right away. However, if the bill passes, it could eventually provide a pathway to citizenship for over half a million Dreamers and a five-year path to legal status, or a green card, for individuals who pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other requirements. Later, after five years, those individuals who complete that process can begin a three-year path to citizenship.

Currently, a federal judge in Texas is challenging the legality of the Obama-era program. Advocates, attorneys, and lawmakers are expecting a ruling from judge Andrew Hanen in the following weeks. If Judge Hanen rules DACA unlawful, the Biden administration would have to act fast and put pressure on Congress to offer permanent legal status for Dreamers.

On the first day of Biden’s presidency, he released an immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, which was quickly shut down by Republicans.

We can’t forget that in 2019, The American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act were passed by the House. The American Dream and Promise Act reads “DHS shall establish streamlined procedures to apply for conditional permanent residence for aliens who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and were not disqualified for renewal.”According to Congress.gov https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6
Both legislations would provide permanent status for Dreamers, TPS, and farmworkers if it is passed by Congress.

In other news, border agents in Texas have started to release immigrant families that are not being accepted back into Mexico. This is evidence of how the new administration is set to treat immigrants. In the last administration, Trump implemented the stay in Mexico policy, which forced immigrants to wait in Mexico until their asylum request was accepted. Now, asylum seekers are being allowed in the country. As of January 27, up to 50 people have been released each day in South Texas. Even though most immigrants have been able to come to the country, there are thousands that are still waiting to be processed

Learn more about how Abogado Guerrero can help Asylum Seekers

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