New bill offers pathway to U.S. citizenship, family immigration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Linda Sanchez on Feb. 18 introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act, which would offer 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. a path to citizenship, with a faster path for DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status holders.
The bill would greatly increase both family-based and employment-based legal immigration and allow certain previously deported immigrants to apply to return for humanitarian reasons.
Senator Robert Menendez plans to introduce the same legislation on Feb. 22 in the Senate.
Among other provisions, the bill also includes Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Reuniting Families Act and her No Ban Act.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), a national civil rights advocacy organization, describes the Biden administration’s immigration bill “as a start to a more inclusive immigration system.”
AAJC explained that the bill is in line with President Biden’s campaign promise to offer a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, DACA recipients, and TPS holders, but “several key aspects of the bill fall significantly short of the long-term promise to undo harms levied against immigrants and transform our immigration system.”
The organization hailed the inclusion of Rep. Chu’s Reuniting Families Act and the No Ban Act in the bill. The No Ban Act would restrict the executive power to enact future discriminatory bans such as the Muslim and African Bans and prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration laws.
The Reuniting Families Act would start to clear the family-based and employment-based backlogs, providing relief to separated families and Indian families stuck in temporary nonimmigrant visa status.
The bill also includes LGBTQ equality provisions in our immigration laws, repeals the harsh three and 10-year and permanent bars to inadmissibility and other relief for immigrant communities. It would also expand the diversity visa program, a main pathway for immigrants from Africa.