In stark contrast to the Trump administration’s tough immigration policies, President-elect Joe Biden plans to propose an 8-year path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S. without legal status.
The legislation, expected to be introduced shortly after the Inauguration on Wednesday, would fulfill a campaign promise to Latino voters as well as other immigrant communities. Biden’s plan, while providing a quicker path to citizenship, does not include enhanced border security backed by many Republicans.
During his presidential campaign, Biden referred to Trump’s immigration policies as an “unrelenting assault” on American values, while promising to “undo the damage” and continue to uphold border enforcement.
Under the proposed legislation, illegal immigrants living in the U.S. as of January 1st, 2021 who fulfill basic requirements, including paying taxes and passing background checks, would have a five-year path to temporary legal status. Beyond that, if they choose to become citizens, there would be a three-year path to naturalization.
Biden is expected to reverse other Trump immigration actions. Among them, the end to the prohibitions of predominantly Muslim countries arrivals.