White House introduces immigration reform legislation

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Guidelines sent to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement employees on Thursday show the Biden administration will take a new approach on removing people who are in the country illegally. 

ICE will now primarily arrest and remove people in the country illegally who:

  • Pose a threat to national security
  • Have committed aggravated felonies
  • Crossed the border without permission after Nov. 1

Under former President Trump's immigration policy, ICE would arrest and remove anyone in the country illegally, regardless of criminal history. 

Nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. could be on the path to becoming U.S. citizens if the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is passed.

The Biden administration’s 2021 immigration reform bill proposes:

  • Eight-year path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients, farm workers and migrants who have been in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2021
  • More funding to relieve backlog in asylum cases
  • Increased security at ports of entry to detect drugs and contraband
  • Increasing the number of diversity visas
  • Stiffer penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants

The bill also proposes to invest $4 billion to address the root causes of migration in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Keep in mind that the process to take something from a proposal to an actual law and policy and implement it, will probably take months, but more likely years," said Immigration Attorney Jodi Goodwin.


7 Days