Biden’s immigration plan introduced to Congress, giving hope to millions

Democrats on Thursday introduced to Congress the US Citizenship Act, a sweeping piece of immigration legislation backed by President Biden that includes a pathway to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants amongst other provisions.

The bill is based on the immigration proposal that President Biden introduced on his first day in office.

“The last four years of misguided policies have exacerbated the already broken immigration system and highlighted the critical need for reform,” the President said in a statement on Thursday.

“I look forward to working with leaders in the House and Senate to address the wrongdoings of the past administration and restore justice, humanity, and order to our immigration system,” he continued.

The bill would establish an 8-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that have been in the U.S. since January 1 and a shorter process to legal status for agriculture workers and Dreamers under DACA.

“The legislation I sent to Congress will bring about much needed change to an immigration system where reform is long overdue,” said the President.

The proposed bill includes numerous other provisions, including increasing funding for technology at the border and replacing the term “alien” with “non-citizen” in law.

During the Thursday briefing, White House Press Secretary Psaki said, “The President’s priorities, reflected in this bill, are to responsibly manage the border, keep families together, grow our economy, address the root causes of migration from Central America, and ensure that America remains a refuge for those fleeing persecution.”

The comprehensive immigration and citizenship bill has an uphill battle ahead of it as Democrats hold a very slim majority in both chambers.

The bill would require bipartisan support from at least 10 Republican Senators in order to avoid a filibuster and go to a vote in the Senate.

“I know that many are thinking, does the bill have any chance of passing with 60 votes? And the answer is, we won’t know until we try,” said Senator Bob Menendez, who introduced the bill to the Senate.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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