Undocumented immigrants in the United States have a reason to smile after years of uncertainty during the Donald Trump administration. This after President Joe Biden’s administration released plans for the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which aims to reform immigration in the country.
The proposed legislation could allow undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status, with the ability to apply for green cards after five years if they pass criminal and national security background checks and pay their taxes, as described by the Biden-Harris transition team on the morning of the inauguration.
“This is long overdue. I really thank God for Joe Biden because he is humane. He really acts like a human being. We haven’t done anything wrong…we are just trying to survive while building this nation. Why should they give us a hard time as if we are hardcore criminals? God bless Joe and Kamala. I hope the reforms sail through fast,” said a Kenyan woman in Atlanta, Georgia, who sought anonymity because she is in the country illegally.
According to the the new administration, Dreamers, TPS holders and immigrant farmworkers who meet specific requirements should be eligible for green cards immediately under the proposed legislation.
After three years, all green card-holders who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics can apply to become citizens. Applicants must be physically present in the United States on or before Jan. 1, 2021, according to the document.