In their bid of enacting immigrant-friendly policies, the Democrats are on a roll once again.
The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act will provide essential immigrant workers with a pathway to acquire green cards and become legal permanent residents of the United States.
As President Joe Biden moves forward to extend immigrants-friendly policies, this bill has become even more important.
Senators Alex Padilla and Elizabeth Warren introduced the Citizenship Act of 2021 in the Senate, and Representatives Joaquin Castro and Ted Lieu introduced this bill in the House of Representatives.
The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act will provide the millions of undocumented immigrants with an easy path to acquire United States citizenship and become a part of the society to which they have made major contributions.
What is this bill, and how will it help people waiting to get legal residency in the US? Let’s see.
Citizenship for Essential Workers Act: A Need of the US Immigrants
The Citizenship Act of 2021 will allow undocumented immigrant workers to apply for temporary legal status and the ability to apply for a green card after five years.
However, these people need to go through criminal and national security background checks, along with paying taxes during this temporary citizenship period to become eligible for the program.
Even getting a green card will not result in legal permanent residency. In fact, after receiving the green card, the individuals will have to go through an additional period of three years for some additional security measures and checks. At the end of that term, they will become legal permanent residents of the country.
The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act will also prohibit using the word aliens with noncitizens, strengthening the American claim of being an immigrant-friendly nation.
The Citizenship Bill of 2021 will also reform the family-based immigration system by removing barriers to this process.
The three to ten-years bar will also be removed under this Act, alongside eliminating discrimination faced by LGBTQ communities.
The family-sponsored petitioners will also be allowed to join their families in the US temporarily until they acquire the green card.
The bill also embraces diversity by prohibiting any discrimination on a religious identity while also barring presidential authority to issue further bans based on religion. Diversity visas will be increased to 80,000 under this Act.
The Citizenship Bill of 2021 will promote immigration and refuge by providing funding to state and local governments, as well as private organizations and educational institutions.
This funding will be used to expand programs for the integration and inclusion of immigrants while also providing them with an increased English language instruction and assistance in acquiring US citizenship.
The Citizenship Bill of 2021 will eliminate any kind of blockage in the process of acquiring employment-based visas.
If the bill becomes a law, it will eliminate the long waiting time and recapture unused employment visas to increase the foreign workforce that will eventually contribute to the economic growth of the country.
The dependents of H-IB visa holders will be allowed to work in the United States. A pilot program will be created to stimulate regional economic development and providing visas to highly skilled workers in an attempt to prevent unfair competition.
A Commission will be established by the Department of Labor that will oversee the workers and protect immigrants from exploitive practices, eventually improving the employment verification process.
A Better Border Control While Addressing the Evil from its Roots:
The bill creates not only a pathway for undocumented immigrant essential workers but also addresses the issue of border control.
As border control remain the bone of contention between Republicans and the Democrats, this provision becomes even more important in the prevailing circumstances.
Border resources will be provided with additional technology and infrastructure that will urge foreigners to enter the United States through a legal pathway.
The Citizenship for Essential Workers Act will also eliminate barriers that are currently faced to crackdown on the criminal and illegal activities on borders such as smuggling and trafficking.
For decades, the legality of immigration has been questioned. As the incumbent government moves forward in its bid to address the genesis of immigration, this bill will provide additional funding of $4 billion to be spent on addressing the underlying causes of immigration.
Kamala Harris has also indicated the Biden’s administration plan to invest in Central America’s northern triangle, and this bill will act as an extension of these aids.
Similarly, the functioning of the immigration courts will also be enhanced by the integration of technology in the working environment.
Asylum seekers and members of vulnerable communities will go through a more straightforward process to enter the United States under the proposed bill.
Expecting Republican support for this bill is just a pipe dream, as they always oppose immigrant-friendly policies.
There is no doubt that this bill will be a lifesaver for millions of immigrants hoping to get residency status in the United States.
The founding fathers of the US always envisioned a diversified society, and having this bill passed will be exactly in accordance with their vision.
Now it is up for Democrats to plan how they present their case in the Senate to fight the likely resistance expected from the Republicans.