Joe Biden To Propose Citizenship Plan For 11 Million Illegal Immigrants In US

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President-elect Joe Biden will propose an 8-year path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S., the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Biden reportedly plans to unveil the legislation on his first day in office. The plan could represent Biden’s first kept campaign promise, as he vowed several times on the campaign trail to introduce a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants within his first 100 days in office.

Under the plan, all illegal immigrants who began living in the U.S. by January 1, 2021 will have a 5-year path to temporary legal status, so long as they pay taxes and pass a background check, the AP reported. Following an additional three years, they would be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.

YUMA, AZ - MARCH 16: Men run after crossing illegally into the U.S. from Mexico on March 16, 2006 at the border town of near San Luis, south of Yuma, Arizona. As Congress begins a new battle over immigration policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border patrol agents in Arizona are struggling to control undocumented immigrants that were pushed into the region by the 1990's border crack-down in California called Operation Gatekeeper. A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, using Census Bureau data, estimates that the U.S. currently has an illegal immigrant population of 11.5 million to 12 million, about one-third of them arriving within the past 10 years. More than half are reportedly from Mexico. Ironically, beefed-up border patrols and increased security are reportedly having the unintended result of deterring many from returning to their country of origin. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

YUMA, AZ – MARCH 16: Men run after crossing illegally into the U.S. from Mexico on March 16, 2006 at the border town of near San Luis, south of Yuma, Arizona.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Dreamers will be given an expedited path to temporary legal status under the legislation. The plan does not address border security or provide any funding or strategy for improving it, instead only calling for lawmakers to come up with new strategies, according to the AP.

The bill will likely represent the first major legislative push of Biden’s presidency, and it could ultimately compete for the limelight with the Senate impeachment trial of Trump.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump on one charge of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in causing a pro-Trump mob to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6. While Biden has condemned Trump’s actions, he has been hesitant to endorse the impeachment effort for fear the process could get in the way of his legislative goals.

“Last week, we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy,” Biden said in a January 13 statement. “It was carried out by political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump. It was an armed insurrection against the United States of America. And those responsible must be held accountable.” (RELATED: Trump Says He Was ‘Outraged’ By Supporters Storming Capitol, Is Now Focused On ‘Smooth’ Transition Of Power | The Daily Caller)

“I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation,” he added. “From confirmations to key posts … to getting our vaccine program on track, and to getting our economy going again.”

Biden was more blunt in a January 8 statement.

“What Congress decides to do is for them to decide, but they’re going to have to be ready to hit the ground running because when Kamala and I are sworn in we’re going to be introducing immediately significant pieces of legislation,” he said.