Beyond citizenship for the undocumented: the other facets of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021
Felicia Persaud | 2/25/2021, midnight
Right wingers like Marco Rubio, whose grandfather was once detained as an undocumented immigrant and deported back to Cuba; and Crazy Jim Jordan of Ohio, who was quick to gloss over the insurrectionists, are now hard at work calling the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 “amnesty.”
So, what else is new? Don’t hold your breath looking for originality from these idiots. But enough space dedicated to Trump Derriere Kissers. The Joe Biden U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is here, and immigrants could not be prouder and more excited.
It’s been over three decades in the making and I’ve seen many literal tears of joy shed already that my heart is full. Of course, a lot has been made of the 8-year path to citizenship for Dreamers and undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021.
But there’s a whole lot more to this huge 353-page bill than just a long overdue path to citizenship for the hard-working Dreamers and the undocumented.
Here’s some you should know:
The bill includes a provision to prevent presidents from issuing categorial bans on immigration.
It also recommends removing barriers to family-based immigration, including lengthy visa backlogs and employment-based green cards, which have been relatively inaccessible for workers in lower-wage industries.
It proposes a repeal of the Bill Clinton-era restrictions that prevents people who have been present in the U.S. without authorization for more than six months from re-entering the country for a period of three to 10 years. Many of those immigrants would otherwise be eligible to apply for legal status, often through a U.S. citizen or a spouse who holds a green card.
It proposes a strengthening of protections for immigrant workers by helping to ensure that victims of serious labor violations receive visas, protecting those who face workplace retaliation from deportation, and setting up a commission to make improvements to the employment verification process.
The bill would allow for an unspecified increase in funding for immigration enforcement. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas would have to assess the precise dollar amount required, but that could prove controversial, given that many immigrant advocates have spent the last four years calling for lawmakers to abolish or at least defund the immigration enforcement agencies, whose budgets ballooned under Donald Trump.
Those funds would go toward improving screening technology, officer training, infrastructure at ports of entry, and border security between ports of entry, favoring alternatives to a border wall.
The bill would also establish mechanisms to address misconduct among DHS’s ranks, increasing staff at the DHS Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates such cases, and requiring the agency to create a use-of-force policy. It would be a critical first step in reforming the agency, which became politicized under Trump, at times acting as the mouthpiece of his immigration and “law and order” agenda.
The bill has provisions to recapture all lost Green Cards numbers between 1992 through 2020. If someone with approved immigrant petition is waiting in line for over 10 years, then they are not subject to numerical cap anymore. This provision is applicable to both family-based and employment-based categories. This will be effective 60 days after the bill is passed.
It also proposes to:
Change the per country limits of family-based immigration from 7% to 20%
Change the term “alien” to “non-citizen” across the board, signifying any person who is not a citizen of United States.
Grow economy with changes to employment-based visa system.
And increasing the Diversity Lottery Visa limit from 55,000 to 80,000 visas.
To Rubio and Jordan and all the insurrectionist supporters, do us a favor––keep your lips pealed to Donald Trump’s derriere. You’ve had your time and it’s up. I’m here to tell you, this is our time now!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow