On the same day he is inaugurated into office, President-elect Joe Biden will introduce immigration legislation that will include an eight-year pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million immigrants living in the United States without legal status, a Biden transition official confirmed Tuesday.
The legislation, first reported by the Washington Post, will also include expanding refugee admissions and an enforcement plan that includes deploying technology to patrol the border.
Under the legislation, immigrants without legal status living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, would be put in a temporary legal status for five years, with a green card being granted if they meet requirements like passing a background check and paying taxes, under the legislation. They then could apply for citizenship three years later.
Some undocumented immigrants will see a quicker process in the pathway to citizenship. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” in addition to agricultural workers and those in the temporary protected status program could qualify for green cards immediately.
Biden’s immigration plan comes after four years of a hardline approach to immigration from President Donald Trump, which led to several controversial policies, including trying to end the DACA program. The Supreme Court last June upheld the program.
In addition to introducing the legislation Wednesday, Biden will also issue executive actions related to immigration, including reversing Trump’s travel ban for Muslim-majority countries.