Is America about to get the comprehensive immigration reform it has so desperately needed for the past 30 years? The recent Georgia Senate flip to Democrats just boosted those odds of immigration reform. With President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration only a day away, perhaps nobody is as eager for the change as the immigrant community. President-elect Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration law policies. The new legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies that essentially shut the immigration system down and launched mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Traditional enhanced border security is being touted by Republicans as missing and conservative lawmakers are already making the media rounds to try put passage in a narrowly-divided Congress in doubt. But the legislation is just shifting border security to more tech-based programs rather than expensive-outdated programs like walls.
Under the proposed immigration reform bill, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, (DACA), the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration overhaul proposed when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration. For example, it does not include a robust border security element, but rather calls for coming up with strategies. Nor does it create any new guest worker or other visa programs. It does address some of the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States, and provides grants for workforce development and English language learning. Biden is expected to take swift executive actions to reverse other Trump immigration actions, including an end to the prohibition on arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries.
North County Immigration is at the forefront of providing complex immigration related legal solutions to clients and will continue to provide affordable expert immigration law services under any new legislation or executive policies. With government trained attorneys, North County Immigration is well equipped to stay ahead of the latest changes and trends that are coming with this new incoming administration. Whatever your needs may be, (EAD/work authorization, DACA renewals, naturalizations, waivers, tourist visas, H1-Bs, citizenship, TPS, etc.), North County Immigration’s team is ready to answer your questions and present the best legal strategies for you. Please contact us at 760-233-0800 to book a consultation and speak with attorney Anna Hysell about how we can help you achieve your dreams in America.