In an effort to modernize our immigration system, Biden introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act in the Senate and the House. This new law would put life into President Biden’s plan to restore compassion and American values to our immigration system
Over 11 million undocumented immigrants have been waiting a very long time to arrive. This proposal, if approved by Congress will be the second massive immigration reform bill, This immigration reform bills follows a recent federal court decision on the Obama-era program shielding undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation. This program called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) DACA has been a thorn on the side of anti-immigrants and for our recent administration.
A little bit of history, As part of his anti-immigration agenda the Trump administration struggled to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked this effort. Although Trump was unable to dismantle DACA, the 2017 Supreme Court’s ruling, stated that new applications for DACA would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review. The memo had sought to buy time while the administration decided its next steps.
During the next few years, Trump repeatedly railed against DACA as part of his anti-immigration agenda but three years into his administration has been unable to end the program as promised following a series of lost lawsuits.
A federal district judge in a 5-4 decision directed the Trump administration to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,. This allows nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work here The Supreme Court stated that in this case, DHS did not follow the proper procedures. Nothing prevents the department from trying again.
Daca has been an ongoing struggle for the large group that defines them but another, but there is an even larger group, 11 million undocumented immigrants living in this country for many years; many over 40 years. These people live, work and pay taxes to the U.S. of A.
One of the ever-present arguments is that immigrants have a higher rate of criminality than American Citizens. This is completely untrue. A recent article published in the PNAS ( National Academy of Sciences) arrived at a different conclusion. In their opinion:
The consequences of criminal sanctions due to their precarious legal status may also be relevant. Far more than legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants have strong incentives to avoid criminal involvement for fear of detection and deportation. In this regard, lower rates of crime for undocumented individuals are consistent with a deterrence-based argument, whereby undocumented immigrants face considerably harsher sanctions (mainly deportation) from criminal wrongdoing compared to their citizen and legal immigrant counterparts.
"Taken together, these perspectives—assimilation, selection, and deterrence—help us understand why the observed crime rates for undocumented immigrants were considerably lower than those for legal immigrants and native-born citizens. Each, in turn, offers a fruitful avenue for further research on undocumented immigration and crime." 40
Biden’s proposal attempts to cure today’s immigration dilemma. In an effort to reverse Trump’s draconian laws, he has proposed The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. The main thrust of the bill is the nuclear family. It provides industrious people who enrich our communities every day and who have lived here for years, in some cases for decades, an opportunity to earn citizenship. It also eliminates so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” and other provisions that keep families apart. This bill also includes permanent partnerships and eliminates discrimination facing LGBTQ and families.
As far as border control, forget Trump's antiquated wall, think into the future.
Biden will implement a plan to deploy technology to expedite screening and enhance the ability to identify narcotics and other contraband at every land, air, and seaport of entry. It also authorizes and provides backing for plans to improve infrastructure at ports of entry to enhance the ability to process asylum seekers and uncover, proscribe, disrupt and prevent narcotics from entering the United States.
Importantly, the bill creates an earned path to citizenship for our immigrant neighbors, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones—including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities.
Stay tuned. More to come.
40., “Why are immigrants’ incarceration rates so low? Evidence on selective immigration, deterrence, and deportation” (Tech. Rep. w13229, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).