The new administration has a completely different focus on immigration than the last administration. On just his first day in office, President Joe Biden, according to the Los Angeles Times, introduced a major immigration initiative that was sent to the US Congress. At the center of his plan is a pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million immigrants who currently don’t have legal status.
The package also aims to provide a short path to citizenship for the hundreds of thousands of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) immigrants who have temporary protected status. DACA beneficiaries are immigrants who were brought to American illegally as children. The short path to citizenship goal also applies to certain front-line essential workers. Many of these courageous pandemic workers are immigrants.
The proposed legislation differs from prior immigration bills (previously enacted) – in that the proposal does not have any requirements directly linking immigration expansion with security steps and increased law-enforcement – according to Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund. Ms. Hincapié said that the legislation doesn’t link law enforcement with immigration because prior efforts to do so in the Obama administration – failed to appease the Republican party.